Healthcare workers were asked for improvement ideas, here are the top picks

The Healthcare Improvement Challenge was launched in October, inviting healthcare workers and those in related jobs to propose practical, low-cost ideas for system improvements. The contest, which began on October 23 and concluded on November 22, 2023, offered a $1,000 cash prize for up to 50 innovative suggestions.

From over 2,200 submissions, a review panel shortlisted 20 ideas, which were then opened to public voting. Nova Scotians actively participated, casting a total of 20,392 votes from 8,722 people between December 20 and January 8. The top 10 ideas are now set to be prioritized and potentially implemented by the government in collaboration with health-system partners.

The winning ideas (in no particular order):

  1. Text Notification System for Appointments: To reduce no-shows, a system reminding patients of their appointments via text.
  2. Email Option for Appointment Letters: Offering email delivery of appointment letters to save costs and reduce waste.
  3. Direct Audiologist Referrals to ENT Physicians: Allowing audiologists to refer patients directly to ENT specialists.
  4. Full Scope Practice for Continuing Care Assistants: Enabling assistants to perform tasks like taking vitals, easing the load on nurses.
  5. Public Information Screens in Emergency Departments: Displaying wait times and health information in emergency rooms.
  6. Hospital Caller ID: Ensuring patients recognize hospital calls to avoid missed communications.
  7. Alternative Pre-Operative Bloodwork Arrangements: Reducing emergency department pressure by scheduling priority bloodwork appointments.
  8. Online Pre-Registration for Appointments: Streamlining the intake process through online forms.
  9. Patient Registration App with QR Code: Enhancing efficiency and accuracy in patient registration.
  10. Online Cancellation for Diagnostic Imaging Appointments: Providing an online option to cancel appointments like MRIs or ultrasounds.

Premier Houston expressed his commitment to these community-chosen ideas, stating, “The votes are in and now it’s time for us to get to work to make them happen.” While the focus is on the top 10, other submitted ideas may also be considered for future improvements.

Via Provincial Release

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