Patients, clients, residents and family members from across the province are playing a pivotal role in co-designing the Saskatchewan Health Authority to ensure the health care system is centred on patient needs. Engaging patients and families as active partners in the key areas of governance, strategy and policy as well as wherever care is delivered is our goal.
Many people are prompted to become patient and family advisors (PFAs) for the health system because something went wrong.
That’s not the case for Kevin Belitski. Belitski, a technical business analyst for the Ministry of Central Services in Regina, got involved because something seemed to be going right.
Kevin Belitski, a technical business analyst for the Ministry of Central Services, is excited to share his IT know-how with the SHA.
“I really liked the concepts [about quality improvement] and thought there was potentially tons of benefit,” he said. “At about the same time, I received a newsletter in my mailbox. In there, was an ad for patient and family advisors. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to see what I could learn and apply at my workplace.”
In the three years since, he hasn’t looked back. Belitski became a PFA, bringing his knowledge of information technology, strategy and policy and governance to a number of Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) committees, including the Regina area patient and family centred care steering committee, which he co-chairs, and serving as the PFA lead on the SHA’s digital renewal project steering committee.
“I’m doing my little part in seeing the SHA (Saskatchewan Health Authority) take off and become as good as it can be,” he said. “Because this [regional amalgamation] is such a huge shake-up of the health care system, there’s potential to make a lot of significant improvements. You can find buy in because people are expecting change.”
The digital renewal project’s long-term goal is to create a single, seamless, integrated digital experience for patients and staff. When finished, the multi-phase project will result in single website and intranet platforms for the SHA and includes the decommissioning of the existing 12 websites and nine intranets of the former provincial health regions. This work support’s SHA’s goal of connecting patients with their care options as close to home as possible, while also strengthening system alignment and integration.
Belitski said the digital renewal work is in its infancy so he’s still learning the scope of the work, but he likes what he sees so far.
“Getting the PFA perspective is an innovative approach to running an organization. When you’re providing a service to a client, you want to ensure you’re meeting all of the client’s needs. The only way to do so is to ask the client’s opinion. By getting buy in from PFAs at the onset, you should save yourself a lot of long-term trouble.”
Belitski is enthusiastic about the merger of the province’s 12 health regions into a single authority.
“There will be savings in amalgamating resources, coming up with organization-wide solutions. The biggest benefit will be getting rid of duplication and waste by creating more efficient processes. Everyone should benefit in the long run. There should be fewer people travelling for care, people receiving more consistent care and areas will be better able to share patient information, allowing for more seamless care.”
While amalgamating the provinces 12 health regions poses challenges, said Belitski, he is excited to work with people who share a common vision.
“The optimism and the potential for change is energizing. Being part of this change, and being around people who are engaged and want to help others, has been very enlightening.”
The digital renewal project is a multi-phase undertaking with the end goal of improving the online experience users have with the health system. This work support’s our goal of connecting patients with their care options as close to home as possible, while also strengthening system alignment and integration.
Saskatchewan Health Authority’s digital renewal project team is beginning the work of creating a single website for patients and the public, and a single intranet for health care providers. We need your input and suggestions to inform this work.
Please tell us your needs, desires and preferences for these digital tools by completing this short survey.
The survey closes on April 3. Don’t be left out.