The lacklustre results of the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) in the auditor general’s review of his 2014-2015 report are said to be a matter of timing and a complex situation rather than an unwillingness to adopt the recommendations.
With only two out of seven of the recommendations completed, the NSHA was lagging far behind in the recently released review which showed 75 per cent overall compliance across 26 organizations.
When it came to addressing wait times for hip and knee surgeries, however, the NSHA sat at a meagre 44 per cent completion.
Vice-president of Integrated Services Tim Guest says the reason for falling behind is due to a number of outside factors.
“When the auditor general did that review in 2014, we were nine separate organizations and they only audited two,” he explained. “That really looked at a small percentage of our operation and so we’ve really been looking at the entire system and all 17 ORs so it’s much more complicated.”
Wait times for hip and knee surgeries in Nova Scotia can, on average, take a year-and-a-half, while six months is the national benchmark.
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Guest estimates that going from the failing grade to completion is coming in the very near future, now that the NSHA can better concentrate on making those improvements.
“We’ve started to set provincial performance measures and have our data more in a provincial context,” he said. “I think we’re getting really close, we’ve made really good headway this year in starting to get processes in place.”
“We’ve got patient advisers embedded in our committee structures,” he explained of new measures they’ve employed to address the challenges. “That advice and input will be really helpful in finishing that journey and so it’s our goal to be fully compliant with the rest of those recommendations very soon.”