Innovative program aims to strike balance

Publish date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016

MNU president Sandi Mowat was part of the CFNU delegation that recently traveled to New Zealand to learn more about Care Capacity and Demand Management (CCDM).

The program,a tripartite agreement negotiated between the union, the employer and government,  was developed to help hospitals balance capacity and demand. It uses a validated patient acuity tool to support evidence based decision making in regards to staffing numbers and skill mix.

“Optimal patient care and safe staffing has always been one of our top priorities,” Mowat said. “This was an excellent opportunity to learn best practices and discuss ways in which this program can be applied in our province.”

The CCDM program is designed as a whole of (hospital) system approach and focuses on the provision of tools, processes and organizational support systems to undertake three key functions:

  1. Matching the workforce availability and skill mix to patient acuity in each ward on the day.
  2. Providing a suite of indicators that enable a ‘real time’ view of the patient, the ward and the hospital in relation to workforce availability and patient acuity, in order to identify any gap between demand and capacity.
  3. Providing tools that enable variance in the predicted workforce availability, skill mix and patient acuity to be managed safely and efficiently on the day, using standard operating responses (SORs).

The week long visit included presentations about the Trendcare software (measures patient acuity and helps determine staffing numbers) and the CCDM program, as well as site visits to two District Health Boards, one of which has completed implementation of CCDM and the other where CCDM is in the beginning stages of implementation.

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