This performance report has been constructed to demonstrate the progress of Alberta Health Services (AHS) towards meeting the targets and 5-year priorities as outlined in the 2012-2015 Health Plan.
AHS is structured around three key goals which continue to drive our organization’s strategic direction: Quality, Access and Sustainability. We believe that our success will ultimately be measured by the health and wellness of Albertans, their ability to access the system, and our ability to meet these goals in a sustainable manner. These long range, overarching goals are developed into specific objectives on an annual basis, and progress is tracked through performance measures.
With You. For You.
This is Alberta Health Services’ approach to providing health care to Albertans: we are with you to help you stay well, and we are here for you when you need care.
Your health care needs, and the needs of your loved ones, are behind everything we do every day.
In the third quarter of this year, AHS has continued to make steady progress toward our goals, by listening to what our patients have to say, and determining how we can act to best address their concerns.
Patient satisfaction is increasing. The Health Quality Council of Alberta recently reported that 64 per cent of Albertans are satisfied with the care they are receiving, which is up by two per cent from the last survey conducted.
We are improving how we deliver the care people need, when and where they need it. This includes high priority services like cardiac, orthopaedic, cancer, and continuing care services. It also includes easier access to family doctors, specialists, diagnostic imaging and walk-in clinics.
Traditionally, during the winter season, our emergency departments see increased volumes; this is often due to influenza or influenza-like illness, as well as other seasonal infections and illnesses. In spite of these typical increases in demands in our emergency departments in the past quarter, our emergency wait times stayed relatively constant.
We also have added some important new capacity to the province in this past quarter. For instance, the South Health Campus hospital – the newest hospital in the province – opened its doors in the Calgary Zone, and the Kaye Edmonton Clinic opened in the Edmonton Zone improving patient care and access to out-patient services in a fully-integrated complex.
Along with this progress, we recognize there’s a lot of work ahead. We’ve come a long way since the former health regions were amalgamated into Alberta Health Services, but we are not there yet.
In the coming weeks and months, we will continue working towards becoming a best-in-class health system, with some guiding principles in mind: We are working to simplify the health system by looking at care delivery through the eyes of our patients and their families. We are attempting to reduce bureaucracy and working to make the system more efficient through local and site-based decision making.
Our fundamental goal is to deliver high quality health care in all areas of the province.
Measuring our Effectiveness
As we move forward, we have placed a high value on ensuring we have measurement systems in place to assess the effectiveness in meeting our performance measures. We have developed a system to measure how we are doing by looking across six dimensions of health care: accessibility, appropriateness, efficiency, effectiveness, safety, and acceptability. We are also examining the well-being of populations across the life cycle from early childhood to youth, adult, and seniors.
On a quarterly basis, we do a thorough analysis of our performance measures to help us see where we are excelling and where we need to improve. There are measures of performance where Alberta is the best, or among the best, performing provinces, which are not included in this report. This is not because they are less important; it is because they require less attention in our goal of becoming the best performing health care system in the country. This quarterly report is focused very much on the areas where we need to improve and it is intended to be a transparent account of areas to improve, and reflects our continued commitment and effort to move toward those goals.
This report provides us with a snapshot of what we are accomplishing and where we can improve. But it’s more than just numbers; it provides a guide as we move forward and is an essential tool to reach our goal of becoming the best-performing publicly-funded health care system in Canada.
With the release of each quarterly report, AHS reaffirms our commitment to provide timely and relevant information to the public. While the figures presented here measure our progress to date, the most important measure of our success in the future will be the health and overall satisfaction of Albertans. We want to acknowledge the efforts of AHS physicians, staff, and volunteers in driving improvements to our service delivery. They are the ones that are making the direct difference in the kind of care that is being delivered to Albertans.
For more information on actions we are taking and the programs we have in place to transform our health system, I encourage you to visit our website at www.albertahealthservices.ca.
Dr. Chris Eagle
President & Chief Executive Officer
Alberta Health Services