It was a packed house for the Vancouver Medical, Dental and Allied Staff’s (VMDAS) quarterly meeting on September 17. Physicians gathered to hear the latest news from their medical staff association including updates on the new physician charter and a physician lounge at VGH.
Noting that facilities with higher levels of engagement have better patient outcomes, VMDAS President Dr. Simon Rabkin talked about the desire for a Medical Staff Engagement Charter.
“We know our members want dialogue across VCH; well-run organizations have a hierarchical structure that takes input from collateral organizations like a medical staff association,” said Dr. Rabkin. “We need to ask ourselves: what is meaningful engagement? Our goal is to improve patient care and develop a culture and a community we can all be proud of. True engagement requires balanced representation from all stakeholders.”
There is a broad spectrum of engagement. At the low end, we simply receive information. At progressively higher levels, we are consulted, involved, we collaborate on the process, and—ultimately—are empowered by it.
“Our charter looks at when is it OK to be informed and when we want to be empowered,” said Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) Co-chair Dr. Lyne Filiatrault. “Physician engagement in decisions is invaluable and we want our input to be sought at the earliest possible stage.”
Members’ input on the draft charter is important and physicians can send their VMDAS executive a confidential message about this here. Members can also submit ideas via this website for the VMDAS to take forward to VCH leadership. The goal is to develop a format whereby physician input is sought early on all hospital and community initiatives that matter to physicians and their patients.
VGH physician lounge update
A proposal to establish a centre for physician engagement at VGH (referred to as the lounge) has been on the table for a number of months. VMDAS sees this as one of its most important initiatives to bring physicians together and it was identified as a priority early in the Facility Engagement Initiative process conducted by the VPSA.
“Our members see a ‘lounge’ as a place to grab a coffee and eat but also a place to meet, socialize and get to know one another,” said Dr. Filiatrault. “From our survey and dotmocracy posters, we know physicians want the lounge to be in a central location and that they will use it for reconnecting, and based on the comments received, some even see it as a ‘refuge.’”
VMDAS recently sent a memo to its members regarding two potential location choices for a physician lounge at VGH. We will provide updated information on your votes and the process going forward soon.