Ornge Submits First Quality Improvement Plan

Progress and Targets for Improvement Highlighted in First Report

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario patients requiring air ambulance services and critical care transport will receive better care thanks to Ornge's first Quality Improvement Plan.

The Quality Improvement Plan, submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care today, is a requirement under Ornge's amended Performance Agreement and is a key step to ensuring public confidence in its air ambulance system.

"Our Quality Improvement Plan was developed following a process of surveying the people that matter most to us:  our patients," said Dr. Andrew McCallum, Ornge's new CEO.  "This plan demonstrates our commitment to accountability, transparency, the integrity of our operations and high quality patient care in Ontario."

The new plan incorporates what patients value most about Ornge's services and highlights areas for continued improvement, including:

  • Excellence in medical care and highly skilled staff, with a faster and more streamlined approach to training paramedics.
  • Urgency according to patient needs, with new programs to ensure speciality training for staff in the Operations Control Centre in four areas — medical care, flight planning, flight following, and patient transfer authorization.

The plan also highlights recent successes at Ornge, including:

  • From October to December 2012, Ornge confirmed its ability to respond to a call for on scene service within 10 minutes of the start of a call, 90 per cent of the time.
  • In September 2012, Ornge scored 90 per cent on the Quality of Care metric, an indicator that reviews care against industry standards in eight key clinical care areas.

"Quality of care is the top priority of the Ornge Board of Directors," said Dr. Barry McLellan, the Chair of Ornge's Quality Improvement Committee and President and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  "This plan is Ornge's roadmap to change, with specific, measurable targets for improvement."

"Ornge's new leadership is committed to continuous improvement, and this Quality Improvement Plan is a roadmap to guide their efforts," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.  "While there is still much work to be done, I have full confidence in the 600 members of the Ornge team, who work tirelessly to save lives every day."

The 2012 Ornge Quality Improvement Plan can be found at:

http://www.ornge.ca/accountability/Pages/QualityImprovementPlan.aspx

ABOUT ORNGE
Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, coordinates all aspects of Ontario's air ambulance system, the critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals.

Backgrounder: Recent Achievements at Ornge

Ornge's first Quality Improvement Plan builds on a number of key achievements in the past year, including:

Governance

  • Hiring Dr. Andrew McCallum as President and CEO, and Rob Giguere as Chief Operating Officer.  (http://www.ornge.ca/AboutOrnge/Pages/ExecutiveManagement.aspx)
  • Appointing a new Board of Directors led by Ian W. Delaney, Chairman of Sherritt International, and a Quality of Care Committee under the direction of Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
  • Significantly improving accountability and transparency by posting executive expenses and salary ranges online.
  • Introducing new policies and procedures on Conflict of Interest, Whistleblower Protection, Performance Management and Executive Compensation.
  • Appointing an Independent Ethics Officer to receive, investigate and track employee disclosures as part of the new whistleblower protection policy.

Patient Advocacy

  • Hiring a Patient Advocate to work with patients and their families to address concerns and advocate for operational improvements.
  • Creating a new Declaration of Patient Values.
  • Developing an online patient relations portal and guaranteeing feedback to patient complaints.

Operations

  • Consolidating three operations divisions under one Chief Operating Officer.
  • Installing new, improved interim medical interiors in the fleet of AW139 helicopters after extensive consultation with frontline staff.
  • Consolidating all operational scheduling functions into one team for improved coverage and service effectiveness.
  • Developing and implementing certification material for the Operations Control Centre.
  • Redesigning programs to expedite the paramedic training and education process.
  • A new program to fast track training upgrades for primary care paramedics to become advanced care paramedics.
  • Launching a pilot project in Ottawa on the use of critical care land vehicles in place of a helicopter for certain calls when deemed appropriate for patient care.
  • Obtaining Transport Canada approval for the interim interior for the AW139 aircraft.
  • Receiving Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for helicopter flights into the United States.
  • Obtaining a three-year Operators Certificate from the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for air and critical care land ambulance operations.
  • Taking steps to introduce a third line of paramedics at the Thunder Bay base to help ensure 24/7 service for Northern Ontario.


SOURCE: Ornge

For further information:

Media Contact:  James MacDonald  - 416-531-7577