Highlights of the Board of Directors public meeting

Tracadie, April 21, 2015 – The Board of Directors of Vitalité Health Network held its regular public meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in Tracadie.

The Network’s performance

Quality of care and client satisfaction

The Network disclosed the details of a new initiative that complements current activities by setting even higher standards of excellence for the hand hygiene strategy. “The Network acknowledges that hand hygiene is the most effective means to prevent the transmission of hospital-acquired infection and that it plays a key role in patient safety,” said President and CEO Jean Castonguay. The initiative “Ask your caregivers if they have washed their hands” will consist in putting up posters in patient rooms and ambulatory care clinics to make patients aware of their own safety and encourage them to become more active partners in their health.

The results of the outpatient satisfaction survey conducted in February 2015 showed that 70% of respondents gave an “excellent” rating to the question on hand hygiene. “These are good results but we want to be even more performing in this regard,” said the President and CEO.

Financial elements

As at February 28, 2015, the Network had recorded total expenditures of $595.9 million, which translates into an operating surplus of $14.6 million, a reduction of 2.7% compared to the planned budget. The financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 are still not known but the Network expects to end the fiscal year with a surplus of $10.8 million.

It was noted that 11.8% of the Network’s total expenditures are incurred in small facilities, 13.6% in community programs such as the Extra-Mural Program and Public Health, and 74.6% in larger facilities. These data exclude costs related to Medicare medical expenses.

Activity volume trends

The Network reported a relatively stable bed occupancy rate of 94% for the past three years. The percentage of beds occupied by long-term care patients has remained stable at 24.8% in 2014-2015. The number of emergency room visits has increased by 5% over the past four years and a similar trend is being observed in the number of chemotherapy treatments, namely an increase of 10% for the same period of time. The number of renal dialysis treatments has also increased by 13.4% over the past four years.

Strategic planning

2015-2016 budget and 2015-2018 Regional Health and Business Plan

The President and CEO reported that the Network’s budget planning process was ongoing. “We are working with an approximately 0.85% increase in Department of Health funding,” he pointed out. According to Castonguay, keeping this in mind, the 2015-2018 Regional Health and Business Plan must include performance improvement initiatives in the order of $6.5 million to balance the Network’s 2015-2016 budget. “We are revising our Regional Health and Business Plan to get our financial target in line with the level of funding provided by the Government.”

Care and service delivery

In the current fiscal context, the President and CEO reiterated the Network’s approach to the provision of care and services to the population it serves. “The clinical service strategic planning exercise is a continuing process that is ongoing in the beginning of fiscal year 2015-2016,” he stated. “The provision of care and services is ongoing as per our Regional Health and Business Plan. Any changes or adjustments to the plan must be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval beforehand.”

Open house at the new Restigouche Hospital Centre

An open house will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2015, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., to allow the general public to visit the new Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton. Those interested will meet in the lobby of the new facility and will be able to take part in guided tours conducted by employees who will be pleased to answer their questions.