LISTOWEL – The Listowel-Wingham Hospital Alliance is looking at ways of improving programs by reviewing their clinical services plan.
CEO Karl Ellis said the hospital board spent time last December talking about the challenges and opportunities facing the LWHA, and the need for a clinical services plan was one of the priorities identified. Ellis said it has been a long time coming.
“In fact, when the Alliance was formed eight years ago, one of the commitments at that time was to prepare a plan for clinical services between the two sites,” Ellis said. “If we’re going to take advantage of our Alliance and what we’ve done today, that’s the next step.”
According to Ellis, a clinical services plan is important to the LWHA as Listowel and Wingham are two small hospitals, and there is a need to offer as many services as possible. The problem is that the two hospitals haven’t traditionally shared wait lists and referrals back and forth.
“If we were to have a single wait list, patients could be offered an appointment tomorrow at one site, or two weeks from now at the other site,” he said. “It gives patients more choice and opportunities as far as time lines.”
There is also some duplication of services between the two sites, as certain services and procedures duplicate equipment and training. Ellis said that if those services could be focused more, it would make it possible to host a wider variety between the two hospitals.
“Because we’re small hospitals, some of those procedures have relatively small volumes,” he said. “If we were able to consolidate that, maybe that opens up time and resources at the other site to bring something new in.”
Ellis suspects core programs will continue to be offered in both communities, with specialized services offered in one or the other. Some examples of this are already being seen, like the breast health program in Listowel.
“What we’ve committed to do is look at all of our clinical services and determine what we can do more effectively,” Ellis said. “The hospital physically may not look any different than today, it may just be what services are offered.”
Another priority identified is a human resources plan, particularly nursing and physician resources, to create a community profile to determine what kind of health care is needed, and make sure staff is available to provide those services…. Please read more in this weeks Listowel Banner