Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
An independent committee examining healthcare at an agency in soap Western Ontario has issued 32 recommendations aimed at improving staff morale and addressing workload and scheduling issues.
The review panel released its report on July 10, 2014, following complaints from care coordinators at Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre (ESC-CCAC). Ninety per cent of the centres care coordinators are registered nurses with the Ontario Nurses’ Association.
The recommendations made by the committee include the following: standardizing work processes across the ESC-CCAC’s three sites; adding some casual-care coordinators to assist in times of increased need; developing a workload-measurement tool to enable improved tracking of work and staffing needs; conducting consistent and timely performance reviews with all staff annually; and holding consistent one-on-one meetings with staff between performance appraisals to set goals, monitor progress and review scorecards regularly.
Linda Haslam-Stroud, President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association, says the panel acknowledged that workload and staffing were significant issues at the ESC-CCAC. While the agency has yet to fill seven vacant care-coordinator positions, she says the panel agrees that the remaining vacancies must be filled.
“These positions would greatly assist with the staffing needs of the ESC-CCAC, given the needs currently required,” the report confirms, noting that the use of a “float-care coordinator” was extensive and that “there is a consistent use of overtime to address the backlog of work from absenteeism and inability to staff on weekends.”
In 2013 there were 1503 occurrences of absence from 249 ONA members, or about 2041 missed days.
Now we are in 2021 and the issue with nurse staffing seems to be ongoing. Covid-19 has placed a great strain on the healthcare system and we need to recognize that our nurses are a very large part of those putting their lives on the line every day.
Following up on the data to better make use of the resources available should have been an ongoing action plan. Funny how things get out of hand before corrective action is taken.
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Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.