Med­i­cal ‘mayor’

HSC COO aids staff in putting pa­tients first

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE - DR. JOHN Mc­FER­RAN

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.”

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