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PHSA individual and teams recognized for improving the quality of care in B.C.

The BC Quality Awards, presented by Health Quality BC, celebrate the people and projects that have led to safer and higher quality care for patients and their families across the province.
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​One individual and four incredible PHSA teams have received recognition from Health Quality BC for their work improving the quality of patient care in B.C.

This recognition epitomizes the highest standards of quality health care: safety, respect, accessibility, effectiveness, equity, efficiency and person-centered. Their unwavering dedication to continuous quality improvement is evident in every facet of their work.

Whether it's providing leadership or serving various patient groups and populations, they all share a commonality—they are actively influencing the quality of care, outcomes, and the overall patient experience. This collective impact serves as a source of inspiration and celebration.

Kudos to all the winners, runners up and nominees!

Category: Excellence in Quality - Optimizing the Early Years

WINNER: Streamlined Assessment Pathway – Advancing Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, BC Children's Hospital

Streamlined Assessment Pathway team – Advancing Early Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, BC Children's HospitalThe Streamlined Assessment Pathway (SAP), part of the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network's (BCAAN) quality improvement project, is revolutionizing autism care for children in B.C. Focusing on earlier diagnoses, particularly for minimally verbal children under 43 months, the SAP significantly reduces assessment wait times. In the first six months, it achieved a decrease of more than 28 per cent, ensuring swift access to interventions, improving the overall experience for families.

"The streamlined assessment project has allowed us to use our resources and expertise to provide more timely autism assessments to preschool children who may greatly benefit from early interventions," said Dr. Angie Ip, the program's medical director.

Beyond statistics, early identification and diagnosis of autism opens the door to access essential support services sooner.

The SAP's success extends beyond B.C., offering a model for other provinces and territories grappling with long waitlists for autism assessments. It showcases how innovative approaches can lead to more timely and effective care delivery, providing inspiration for health care systems nationwide.

Read more about the SAP program.

RUNNER-UP: Newborn Screening BC Program, Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services and Perinatal Services BC

Newborn Screening BC Program, Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services and Perinatal Services BCThe Newborn Screening BC Program, led by Provincial Laboratory Medicine Services (PLMS) with oversight from Perinatal Services BC (PSBC), has enhanced early identification and treatment for newborns in B.C. and the Yukon. Conducting tests for treatable disorders on approximately 45,000 newborns annually, the program aims to improve health outcomes through early detection.

"Using the power of collaboration, breaking down silos to innovate, two programs worked together to achieve profound outcomes for our pediatric population," says Brenda Jackson, senior executive director, PLMS.

Efficiencies were achieved through consolidating platforms and enhancing the Laboratory Information System. The team's innovative thinking, exemplified in newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), allowed for rapid verification of results, improving time to therapy for this critical condition.

The expanded testing has already made a significant impact, identifying infants with SMA, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), and Biotinidase Deficiency, leading to timely clinical interventions.

"The addition of these three tests has made possible the ability to quite literally change the lives of babies born in our province for the better, from day of diagnosis forward," says Ellen Giesbrecht, provincial medical director, PSBC. "Early screening, diagnosis, and intervention is critical to improve the quality of life of babies and their families in BC."

Read more about the  Newborn Screening BC Program.

Category: Excellence in Quality - Returning to Health & Wellness

WINNER: Reducing Wait Times for BC Children's Hospital for PICC Lines, BC Children's Hospital

BC Children's Hospital's POKe (PICC Opportunities for Kids) and PIVOT (Pediatric IV Outpatient Therapy) team bring innovative solutions to pediatric care, allowing children to receive timely treatment closer to home. The interdisciplinary team focuses on reducing waiting times for peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) insertions and expanding access to outpatient services.

"Ultimately, these children can receive the medications, fluids or nutrition they need with less pain and pokes than if they only had peripheral IV access," says PIVOT and PICC nurse educator Shelby Barr. "This is also in alignment with our organization's ChildKind Certification, where we're prioritizing children's comfort and working to minimize the distress that comes from repeated IV insertions."

BC Children's Hospital pediatrician Tom McLaughlin, PIVOT's medical lead, highlights the program's success in allowing children to spend holidays at home with their families, a significant improvement over extended hospital stays.

POKe (PICC Opportunities for Kids) and PIVOT (Pediatric IV Outpatient Therapy) team, BC Children's Hospital

Before POKe and PIVOT, wait times for PICCs and limited resources for at-home IV therapy resulted in extended hospital stays for children. The team's evidence-based approach and collaboration with various partners, including families, led to a nurse-inserted PICC and at-home IV program. This model empowers children and families, reduces IV insertion attempts, and facilitates earlier returns home.

Read more about the POKe and PIVOT team at BC Children's Hospital.

Category: The Doug Cochrane Leadership in Quality Award

WINNER: Kris Gustavson, corporate director, Accreditation and Patient Centred Measurement, PHSA.

Kris Gustavson, corporate ​director, Accreditation and Patient Centred Measurement, PHSAKris Gustavson is celebrated for her compassionate leadership, driving sustained excellence and numerous accolades. A Registered Nurse with experience in clinical service, research, education, and administration, Kris is known for bridging knowledge to action with passion, creativity and optimism.

Kris has established a positive track record of innovating for quality patient-centred care and safety through presentations, journal publications and mentoring. Kris models the way, holding Fellowships with the Canadian Academy of Nursing and the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). Kris builds capacity by investing in people, building competence, confidence, and through thoughtful, efficient processes.

Under Kris's leadership, PHSA has earned multiple Health Standards Organization (HSO) Leading Practice awards. An Accreditation Canada surveyor since 2004, Kris has contributed to health quality improvement locally and internationally. She is collaborating with Indigenous Health, Executive Leadership, PHSA Accreditation Leaders (PALs), and others to incorporate the BC Cultural Safety and Humility standards in their daily work to eradicate Indigenous-specific racism. Kris' impact extends to community leadership, academia, and board service. She is an adjunct professor at UBC, and has served on a number of boards, tribunals and national advisories.  Her efforts reflect her commitment to patient and public safety.

Read more about Kris and her work in the quality improvement community

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