SASKATOON, July 28 /CNW/ - Researchers at the Health Quality Council and
the University of Saskatchewan will be the first to rigorously evaluate
a quality improvement program designed to help nurses and other care
providers reduce the time they spend on administrative tasks or
retrieving medical supplies, so that they can spend more time with their
The researchers have received nearly $500,000 in grant funding from the
Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Saskatchewan Health Research
Foundation to study the effect of the Releasing Time to Care™ (RTC)
program on patient outcomes (e.g., Does it improve patient satisfaction
with care? Does it reduce readmissions to hospital?) and on the quality
of work-life for nurses (e.g., Does it increase job satisfaction? Does
it reduce sick time?).
"We also want to learn what factors in the ward, hospital, or health
region influence the program's results. This information will be
invaluable to others who want to implement the Releasing Time to Care™
program," says Marlene Smadu, Chair of the Health Quality Council.
Over the study period (July 2010-March 2013), RTC will be implemented on
33 hospital units (20 hospitals) in Saskatchewan and several hospitals
in Ontario. The study will involve detailed analyses of care time data
gathered by nurses during the course of their work as well as data from
provincial hospital and health human resource databases, patient and
nurse surveys, interviews of nurses and health care leaders, and
analysis of relevant policy and procedures documents from hospitals.
The CIHR grant was awarded from its Partnerships for Health Systems
Improvements (PHSI) program, which requires local and/or provincial
financial partnership and participation of health system decision-makers
on the research team in order to qualify for the grant program.
Dr. Gary Teare, Director of Quality Measurement and Analysis at the
Health Quality Council is leading the study. "This project received the
largest PHSI grant in the country, from the Fall 2009 competition. It
was also the only PHSI grant awarded outside of Ontario, Quebec and
British Columbia. This was due, in large part to the enthusiastic
partnership of the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, Saskatchewan
Union of Nurses/Government of Saskatchewan Partnership, and the Health
The Change Foundation in Ontario has also committed in-kind support for
comparative research on RTC implementation in that province. The
combined cash and in-kind resources committed to the three-year project
from granting agencies and partners is just over $3 million.
The research team includes researchers from the universities of
Saskatchewan, Alberta, Toronto and King's College London, UK. It also
includes government and health care decision-makers from Saskatchewan
Co-principal investigators are: Dr. Gary F. Teare (Department of
Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan and Health
Quality Council) and Dr. G. Ross Baker (University of Toronto).
The investigative team from Saskatchewan includes: Drs. Tanya Verrall
and Ozlem Sari (Health Quality Council), Dr. Nazmi Sari (Department of
Economics, University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Phil Woods (Faculty of
Nursing, University of Saskatchewan), Dr. Elizabeth Quinlan (Sociology
Department, University of Saskatchewan), and Saskatchewan health system
decision-makers: Lynn Digney-Davis (Ministry of Health), Bonnie Brossart
and Kyla Avis (Health Quality Council), and Lawrence LeMoal
(Saskatchewan Union of Nurses).
Investigators from outside Saskatchewan include: Dr. Anne Sales
(University of Alberta), Drs. Peter Griffiths and Anne Maben (King's
College, London, UK). Partnership in the Ontario research includes team
members from The Change Foundation and the Ontario Ministry of Health
and Long-term Care.
The Releasing Time to Care™ program was developed by the National Health
Service Institute for Innovation and Improvement in England and it is
being used to improve patient care in the UK, Saskatchewan, Ontario,
Australia, and New Zealand.
The Health Quality Council is an independent agency that works
closely with health regions, providers, and government to accelerate
improvement in Saskatchewan's health care system. HQC is fulfilling this
mission by measuring and reporting on quality, building leadership and
capability for improvement, engaging providers, and informing health
SOURCE Health Quality Council
For further information: For further information:
Sheila Ragush, Communications Consultant
Health Quality Council
(306)668-8810, ext. 113, firstname.lastname@example.org