June 1, 2013
This performance report has been constructed to demonstrate the progress of Alberta Health Services (AHS) towards meeting the targets and 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.
Since the creation of Alberta Health Services, there is one thing we have always done: we have met every challenge head-on, in order to deliver safe and high-quality health care to the 3.9 million Albertans we serve. This past quarter of the year was no exception to that. In early April, the Alberta Health Services Board approved a $13-billion budget and three-year health and operating plan in keeping with the provincial climate of fiscal challenges. Our focus has not shifted and will not move from our goal to improve the health and wellness of Albertans and this budget will support us in doing so. This is unequivocally, our first and highest priority.
Over the past months, we’ve continued to lay the groundwork for growth and transformation. Our successes and challenges of the past are lessons we have learned from, and that we can - and will - use to transform the health system to better meet the needs of Albertans.
We are on a path of change, where we will shift our focus on acute hospital care to a new model for the health system where health services are predominantly provided in community settings.
We will simplify the health system, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, respond to the health needs of all Albertans through primary and community care, and, above all, eliminate waste.
That is how we will improve patient satisfaction and outcomes, and build the sustainable, patient-focused and responsive health system Albertans want.
In this analysis of our performance, we can see areas, where that change is happening and where we continue to move closer to achieving the very aggressive targets we have set.
For example, the number of patients getting hip and knee replacement surgeries continues to increase, while the wait times for those surgeries are down. While we saw a slight decrease in the volume of cataract surgeries this quarter, over the past two years, we’ve seen a substantial increase in volume of this surgery and a continued decrease in waits. More people who had been waiting in hospitals were placed into continuing care settings this quarter and access to radiation therapy is surpassing the target in some measures and continuing to improve in others.
The changes we are making and the achievements we are seeing will continue to allow us to do what we, as a health system, do best – take care of Albertans and their families, when and where they need it most. The progress that’s been made is a testament to the commitment and hard work of our staff, physicians and volunteers who continue to uphold the highest standards of care.
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 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
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