Physician leaders in Northeast pledge to continue improving hospital care

SUDBURY—Chiefs of staff and physician leaders at hospitals across Northeastern Ontario have pledged to continue to find ways to improve patient care and make hospitals run more efficiently.

That was the commitment made at the first-ever North East Hospitals’ Physician Leaders Conference held recently at Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury. Over two dozen physician leaders from 13 different hospitals in northeastern Ontario participated in the conference.

Jointly organized by the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), HSN and the Manitoulin Health Centre, this inaugural conference focused on topics such as patient health and safety, patient referrals and transfers between hospitals, improving patient care through telemedicine and electronic health records, advances in critical care, end-of-life care and procedures, and new models of hospital funding.

The conference also featured a keynote address from André Picard, the award-winning health reporter with the Globe and Mail. Mr. Picard provided an overview of some of the key changes affecting the health care system in Canada and best practices being put in place by hospitals across the country. Mr. Picard will be the keynote speaker at HSN’s annual general meeting to be held in June.

“The pace of change in health care over the last five years has been unprecedented, and this conference was an excellent way to bring together hospital physician leaders in the northeast to talk about how we can adapt to these changes so we can improve patient care,” says Dr. Chris Bourdon, conference co-chair and HSN’s chief of staff.

“This conference was particularly valuable for chiefs of staff and physician leaders at smaller, rural hospitals in Northeastern Ontario,” adds Dr. Stephen Cooper, conference co-chair and chief of staff at the Manitoulin Health Centre. “It gives us an opportunity to network with each other and with our colleagues in the major referral hospitals in the Northeast. It also gives us an opportunity to discuss some of the unique challenges in smaller hospitals and learn about best practices and areas of cooperation that will improve care for our patients.”

The North East Hospitals’ Physician Leaders Conference was sponsored by the Ontario Medical Association, HSN, Manitoulin Health Centre, the North East Local Health Integration Network and Pfizer.

“Ontario’s doctors are committed to helping hospital physician leaders find meaningful ways to connect that enhance hospital services and patient care throughout the Northeast. We thank the participants of this inaugural conference and look forward to supporting similar efforts in the future,” says Dr. Scott Wooder, president, Ontario Medical Association.