Izaac Walton Killam Health Centre
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Isaac Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK) is the maternal child tertiary care and research centre serving the Maritimes, a catchment area of 94,654 sq. mi. with a population of 2,341,593. In addition they provide primary and secondary care services both in-facility and in outreach programs, using traveling services and telehealth. Annual volumes of service include over 25,000 Childrens’ Emergency Room visits, 8,600 poison care assessments, 1,021 Women’s Health Clinic Visits, 4,810 births and 181 air transports.
The province of Nova Scotia has one of the oldest and sickest populations in the country with high rates of chronic disease. They are experiencing the nursing and fiscal challenges faced elsewhere, nursing shortages due to retirement and increasing health costs that are outpacing the growth of treasuries. IWK, in conjunction with the Government and the Regional Health Authorities, commissioned a study (Models of Care) to transform the healthcare environment, to improve both patient outcomes and staff working conditions. The Study focused on four areas (People, Process, Technology and Information), to design a replicable process for ensuring that within each facility the right people were doing the right things in the most effective way and had the technology and information to allow them to make the correct decisions. The Collaborative Care Model of the design team laid out a plan for implementation, including initial units within IWK.
IWK had recently implemented Emerald’s DynamineTM Workload Analytics and DynaboardTM Business Analytics Software. The packages deployed linked workload with inpatient and outpatient Health Records data, and were being used by front line managers to make day to day operational decisions about resource utilization. The Models of Care project requires intense work by the decision support department with staff in each unit, to define and provide information required to make informed decisions about changes to processes and roles. The linkage of data from multiple systems and preparation of reports was consuming significant resources. Decision Support could only serve one unit a month and was not able to continue to provide information for on-going evaluation once the initial unit analysis was complete.
Realizing that success of Models of Care depended upon quality decision support, the Director of the department contacted Emerald to explore what could be accomplished within Dynaboard. The objective was to replace the repetitive and time consuming data linkage processes, to expedite decision support services. Working as a team, the Business Analysts and Emerald consultants analyzed data requirements to support the Models of Care process, defined the data linkages, and identified steps that could be automated. The result was the design of a business analytics package structured to automate the creation and delivery of reports to support the information requirements of the in-patient units.
It is anticipated that these changes will enable a service increase to the clients of Decision Support Department that would have required upwards of 350 hours per month. At the same time they will be able to continue to support the requirements of new areas that are embarking on care transformation. Continue to watch for updates on the web site as we document the savings and improvements in service.