Our health care system is in a much different place than it was 11 years ago when the Council was created. Its many stakeholders persevered through difficult teething times as the “health authority era” dawned, matured through its teenage years and are now acting as a more fully integrated system. Our system has a common purpose and goals with a clear focus on patients’ experiences as they interface with the system.
These changes have been possible because of consistent strategic directions from Government and the Ministry over these many years. They set the foundation for a stable and collaborative structure for health care in British Columbia. These directions have also enabled the Council to have a meaningful and impactful role that is unique to our province. I am thankful for it.
Among the most important work that I think the Council has done is uniting partners to build a common definition of health care quality for our province. Their definition is reflected in the BC Health Quality Matrix – which is soon to be updated to incorporate new learning and a more holistic perspective for health care and system quality.
I am thankful to the highly dedicated people working within the health care system who make our pursuit of quality possible. Together, we have accomplished significant achievements, in particular defining and implementing clinical guidelines through the Clinical Care Management initiative, which changed the province’s expectations around the care that hospitals deliver. We have seen networks of care providers achieve profound impacts on the quality of care for patients with sepsis, those who suffer stroke and the many who undergo a surgery or need care in our intensive care units.
Together we have shifted the focus of our health system to providing dignity and person- and family-centred care, and to providing care for Indigenous people that is grounded in cultural safety and humility. These shifts are having real impact on patients’ experiences of care.
Since our organization was created I’ve had the opportunity to chair a Council whose members have been far wiser than myself. I thank you all for your contributions, insights and openness. You represented so many different perspectives and were voices of common sense, reason and unique experience.
The Council has been successful because of the individuals who have called it home at points over the past 11 years. You’ve stimulated a new way of thinking throughout the health care system: that it is our opportunity, indeed our obligation, to make health care better tomorrow than it is today. Thank you for being amazing team members.
I cannot wait to see what the Council achieves in its next 11 years, and beyond.