To follow up on the Action for Health plan released in April, the Nova Scotia government has now launched a website to show how the province is tracking and measuring progress.
The new site is live and includes a dashboard that will be updated daily.
“We want Nova Scotians to see where we are and we want to see that our actions are actually making improvements as we’re moving along,” said Health Minister Michelle Thompson.
Six key “solutions” were included in the initial Action for Health plan:
- To become a magnet for health providers
- Provide the care Nova Scotians need and deserve
- Cultivate excellence on the frontlines
- Build in accountability at every level
- Be responsive and resilient
- Address the factors affecting health and well being
For each solution, the plan also outlined a list of actions, and now Nova Scotians can see the status of those actions online.
Twenty-seven of the actions are considered to be ongoing while 92 are underway.
Three have been completed. In solution two, the action to allow walk-in clinics to offer virtual care is considered to be complete, and two items have been completed as part of solution four: “develop health system indicators to measure and report publicly on progress and performance of the health system” and “maintain performance agreements with the health authorities.”
The only action that has yet to be started is ensuring reporting mechanisms are in place for staff experiencing racism and discrimination in the workplace.
In addition to action status updates, the website also provides data to reflect progress for each of the six solutions.
This includes data on how many physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners have been brought into the province, data on surgical services and various waitlists, as well as information on response times.
As an example, under solution two, “provide the care Nova Scotians need and deserve,” the site highlights a goal of having five per cent or fewer Nova Scotians seeking a primary care provider. Over the last three years, the average has been 5.9 per cent; however, that number has gone up every quarter in the last year and currently sits at 8.8 per cent.
Health Minister Thompson says it will take time for things to improve and Nova Scotians shouldn’t expect to see results overnight.
“Every one of those actions of health, each piller, is going to be important to us,” Thompson said.
“We know we can’t just do one thing in isolation because it is a system — it is an ecosystem, in fact.”
While the minister stressed the importance of a system-wide approach, she did say that one of the key priorities will be stabilizing the workforce — “really making sure our positions are filled, that we do have a laser focus on recruitment and retention.”
“When we look at one of the major impacts, it is around staff shortages.”