HSC COO aids staff in putting patients first
BQ: You’ve been working on a new vision for the hospital. How is that going?
A: We recently went through an intense, year-long exercise involving people from across the organization to create a new vision for HSC. What we came up with is Patients First, which is in line with the Health Regions Vision. It means that when a patient comes in here, we don’t treat them just as a diagnosis. We don’t treat them as the next scan that has to get done or the next procedure we have to do. We treat the patient knowing there is someone behind the diagnosis and we need to learn how to treat them appropriately. That goes beyond our health-care providers to include everybody who works here. We each have a responsibility to recognize that when a patient arrives, it’s a stressful time in their life; they may need directions, need to know where to park, to get a coffee, to access health information, or even just to have a functional chair in the waiting room. Everybody on staff at HSC has a role to play in making that patient experience a valuable one. So far, staff feedback has been very positive. People are saying that Patient First is a wonderful thing to strive for and that they are very proud to be part of it. Q: How do you ensure that the vision translates into how people are relating to one another?
A: We wanted to make the Patients First vision real and relevant to what we do here every day. So we identified five values that define our vision that we try to adopt in everything we do: caring, discovery, excellence, hope and Y definition, the campus of the Health Sciences Centre is a city unto itself, with nearly 15,000 people working, visiting or staying there as a patient on any given day. That makes chief operating officer Adam Topp the “mayor” of Manitoba’s largest hospital.
“I work for the 7,000 people who work here,” says Topp, who is also COO of Grace Hospital and oversees regional programs such as diagnostic imaging, child health, clinical engineering, respiratory therapy and transport for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
“The people who work here know what it is they need to do, so my goal is to make sure everyone can do their jobs to the best of their ability. That means creating an environment where they can take care of a patient without worrying too much about bureaucracy and red tape.”
Topp came to HSC in the fall of 2008. Ever since, he has been working towards that goal as well as ensuring all staff feel appreciated, valued and empowered in their role in patient care.
“We have over 11,000 doors on our premises, so the locksmith we employ is just as important as the physician in ensuring that we function as a health-care provider. Regardless of their role, everyone here adds value to the patient experience and has a part in making HSC work.”