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Driving high-quality pacemaker care across the province

​The PHSA+ Awards recognize those across PHSA that demonstrate excellence and dedication. Today we are profiling Cardiac Services BC (CSBC) and the P6 project team.
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​Colleen Hart, vice president, provincial population health, chronic conditions & specialized populations (L) presents the PHSA+ Award to Carol Laberge, provincial executive director, Cardiac Services BC (R) on behalf of the P6 project team.

The pre/peri/post-operative provincial pacemaker project (P6) is a quality improvement initiative to drive high-quality pacemaker care in British Columbia. 

We spoke with Kelly Mackay, clinical nurse specialist at CSBC and project lead for P6, on the team's work and PHSA+ Award win.

Congratulations on your PHSA+ Award! Can you tell us a little bit about what your team does at CSBC?  

Sites who perform pacemaker procedures have developed organically over time in isolation from one another which has led to significant variation in practice and gaps in the system. Our P6 team is supporting B.C. sites in system-wide change to enable quality patient care from referral through to their first follow up visit. Our success to date, which has seen system redesign at multiple sites, is a direct result of our project’s approach. We use provincial and site level data, practice guidelines, education and training, provincial recommendations, clinical care standardization and site priorities to support local teams in the development of a system that supports quality pacemaker care. Another important legacy of this project is the fostering of relationships across sites which has resulted in an ever-growing  provincial network of providers.  

How did you feel when it was announced that you had won a PHSA+ Award? 

I have been often called “a doer”. I like to see a problem and work with a team to identify and work through solutions. This project, although on a larger scale, is a perfect example of my favorite place. We have an amazing team of physicians, provincial leadership and clinical experts that has been able to help sites see the need for change and we are helping them get there. I have to admit, I have had my head down most of the time working with sites, and this award has reminded me that we are working to change the future of pacemaker care in B.C., one site at time and it is great to be recognized for that work.

What do you like most about your role at CSBC?

Working with this project has given our team an amazing opportunity to get to know the people who provide pacemaker care across BC.  We have been out to their sites to see what works well, hear their challenges and better appreciate what makes sites the same and unique at the same time. This has made us a stronger team. 

What is most rewarding about your team’s work; what makes it all worthwhile?

This project excites us because even though we are striving for standardization and evidence based practices, our approach still enables us to tailor improvements to patient and site needs. This is really rewarding. I also believe we have a strong project team. We have a very passionate physician leader, Dr. Jamil Bashir from St. Paul's Hospital, to support practice change, and our own Dr. Heather Jackson, a very strong administrative leader whose strength is knowledge of the bigger system. She pushes us to think broader and finally clinical leaders like myself who are passionate to support change at the provincial and site levels.  

How did you get involved with this team? Why did you choose to work with this group? 

I was working on pacemaker improvements in a different heath authority when the P6 project team approached me to take on the project lead. I was excited to join for a few reasons - I was passionate about quality improvement work and this project gave me an opportunity to do this on a larger provincial scale. I also have somewhat of a soft spot for smaller centres who work very hard with often much less resources. I had quite a bit of experience with smaller sites and thought I could share some of my lived experience. I have never looked back and grateful for this amazing opportunity.

Tell us something that we may not realize about your team’s work - a little known fact, something unexpected.

Our team is on the move, travelling to work with sites locally across B.C. Although this has meant some turbulent flights into small communities, we have gotten to know the people and see the facilities these teams work in and this has strengthened relationships tremendously. We now are in regular contact with many providers and offer ongoing support.

How do the PHSA values show up in your work?

Respect people: collaboration and partnership is paramount as we work with the sites and health authorities. Sensitivity is critical as many have worked very hard to develop their programs. By respecting their lived experience and fostering relationships based on trust and understanding we are able to support sites through significant change. 

Join us in congratulating  Kelly, Dr. Jamil Bashir, Dr. Heather Jackson and the rest of the P6 team on their PHSA+ Award! Thank you for consistently bringing something extra to our patients and our workplace.

Watch a short video about the P6 team and their incredible work:


Learn more about our 2018 PHSA+ Award winners.

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