Highlights of the Board of Directors public meeting

Dieppe, September 23, 2014 – The Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network held its regular public meeting on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 in Dieppe.

The Network’s performance

Quality and client satisfaction

The Network is placing care and service quality improvement as well as client satisfaction at the top of its organizational priorities for the year 2014-2015. In this regard, the Network reported that of 16 quality indicators, 13 are receiving a higher rating than the previous year and 8 are exceeding the target for the current year.  The biggest improvements have been noted in relation to the infection rate for VRE (vancomycin resistant enterococcus) and the rate for incidents involving serious injuries.

Financial elements

To August 31, 2014, the Network had recorded total expenditures of $269.3 million, which translates into an operating surplus of $5.4 million (2.2%) compared to the planned budget. This surplus is primarily due to reductions of $2.6 million (1.5%) in salary expenditures and $2.7 million (4.2%) in other expenditures compared to the planned budget. The Network also reported a significant increase of $1.5 million (6.0%) in expenditures for medications and medical supplies compared to the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Operational and human resources factors

The Network reported a reduction of 275 full-time equivalents (FTEs) compared the same date last year as well as reductions of 0.9% in overtime hours and 8.9% in sick leave hours. Rino Volpé, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network, stated that work continues to continuously improve the organization’s performance.  Last year, the Network had exceeded its target, with an 18.6% reduction in overtime hours.

The Network reported a significant improvement in hours per patient day, with a 6.1% reduction over 2013-2014, along with a 0.3% reduction in patients’ average length of stay.

Activity volumes

The Network reported reduced activity volumes in a number of sectors, including surgical cases (-4.6%), Emergency visits (-1.5%), and laboratory procedures (-3.2%). The Network noted that the upward trend in the number of dialysis treatments continues, with a 4.8% increase.

Surveys on the experience of inpatients – high level of satisfaction

The President and CEO presented the key results of the most recent monthly inpatient satisfaction survey. The results for August 2014 show the Network obtaining higher overall satisfaction rates than for the same period last year. For the Network as a whole, the overall inpatient satisfaction rate (response “excellent”) was 79% in August 2014 compared to 66% in August 2013.

The Network had targeted the areas of cleanliness, meals, peace and quiet, and transition to discharge as the priorities for improvement. One year later, the results show that significant improvements have been achieved in all these areas.

The Network had also announced the introduction of a new survey measuring outpatient satisfaction. It was administered for the first time in August 2014. This survey will be administered four times a year, namely in May, August, November, and February.

New developments related to services, other projects, and initiatives

The President and CEO listed the most recent initiatives related to new services and other projects of interest under way. The following were mentioned:

  • Therapeutic patio at the Campbellton Regional Hospital – the work is progressing well;
  • New location for the Chaleur Health Centre in Pointe-Verte – the relocation to the new facility should take place within the next few weeks;
  • Satellite oncology service at the Edmundston Regional Hospital – the implementation period is currently under way;
  • New Surgical Suite and Integrated Breast Health Centre at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC;
  • Major renovation project at the Chaleur Regional Hospital;
  • Addition of services at the St. Joseph Health Centre in Dalhousie – three new clinics;
  • Construction of a new Addiction Services Centre in Edmundston;
  • New Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton;
  • Project designed to better manage “frequent users” of emergency services and acute care and thereby improve patient care (better chronic disease management);
  • Revision of the Network’s language policy;
  • All the Network’s laboratories are certified by Ontario Laboratory Accreditation (OLA), an organization that evaluates a laboratory’s quality system and technical competence against international laboratory standards.

Designation of three affiliated university hospital centres (AUHCs)

The Network announced that the Edmundston Regional Hospital, Campbellton Regional Hospital, and Chaleur Regional Hospital had been designated as affiliated university hospital centres (AUHCs) by the Department of Health. This is the next step following the designation of the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Regional Hospital as a university hospital centre (UHC) in September 2010. According to Rino Volpé, President and Chief Executive Officer, the designation of these three affiliated university hospital centres is the culmination of collaborative work among a number of institutions. “I wish to highlight the teamwork and collaborative spirit existing among the Network, Université de Moncton, and Université de Sherbrooke,” he stated. This designation confirms Vitalité Health Network’s role in the training of physicians and health professionals as well as in the advancement of health research conducted in French in New Brunswick.

Report by the Office of the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner

At its September 23, 2014 meeting, the Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network received and reviewed the conclusions and recommendations of the Office of the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner contained in its Access to Information and Privacy Report issued on July 31, 2014.

This report follows Vitalité Health Network’s March 15, 2013 discovery that the privacy of several patients had been breached on a number of occasions – and the notification of the Office of the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner post-discovery of these breaches as well as the conclusions of the internal audit that Vitalité Health Network had undertaken based on this information.

The investigation conducted by the Office of the Commissioner determined that unauthorized access to electronic records of patients of the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre had been committed by an unauthorized person, namely Dr. Rojas Lievano, with this access involving electronic records containing a number of people’s personal health information.

The Board of Directors passed a motion adopting the recommendations made by the Office of the Commissioner and will immediately refer the matter to the Codiac Regional RCMP for further investigation.

Vitalité Health Network will also pursue its internal investigation of this matter.