Senior leadership teams discuss successes and challenges

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VPSA/VMDAS board and staff meet monthly with VCH senior leaders. The February meeting was devoted to the SSC Site Review and Reporting Process and was led by Doctors of BC Engagement Partner Ronnie Hamman. Discussion centred around successes and challenges over the past year and how these learnings will inform MSA priorities in 2023/24.


Over the past month, the SSC surveyed those who attend the monthly VCH/VPSA meetings including senior leaders at the health authority and VPSA board and committee members.

The latter group was asked how well VPSA’s strategic priorities support the Facility Engagement Initiative’s outcomes, whether there was improved engagement among VPSA/VMDAS members over the last year, and if there was improved engagement amongst VPSA/VMDAS members and site VA/VC staff over the last year. Survey results indicate that there is a perception of improved engagement within and amongst MSA members, better engagement between the MSA and the health authority, and an enhanced MSA collective voice in health-system planning and decision making.

VCH leaders were asked if the VPSA and VCH joint structures and processes support meaningful consultation and collaboration on priorities and effective communication between the groups, and if there was improved engagement among VPSA members and VA/VC staff over the last year. Respondents indicated a high level of agreement with the survey statements.


In the survey’s open-ended questions, respondents cited a number of initiatives they felt were successful. These included the creation of the Leaders Forum, the implementation of CST Cerner at VGH, and increased engagement and visible support with the VCH leadership team, including at these monthly meetings. The Vancouver Community appreciation and networking event held in May 2022 was heralded as a great collaboration. Monthly physician lunches were singled out for their fun and collegial atmosphere and as opportunities to meet new colleagues. Monthly peer support dinner groups were commended, as were invited speaker events. Respondents felt positively about the joint equity, diversity and inclusion and anti-racism shared initiatives and also had good things to say about the VMDAS Hub for Engagement and Wellness at VGH.


Participants then had the opportunity to talk about what works at the monthly meetings and ways to improve these. The meetings have evolved since their instigation and have largely become a place to report on committee and task group activities. While VPSA and VCH leaders share many of the same priorities, the meetings might benefit from some strategic planning to determine how to move forward in achieving shared goals.

The benefits of virtual and in-person meetings were talked about with the sense that there would be better connection and collegiality if more of the monthly meetings were held in person. To have the meetings move beyond being simply a forum for committee reports, there were suggestions to include time for discussions after the presentations to seek further engagement opportunities.

CST implementation

The group spent time addressing CST specifically and how to continue the success of the initial implementation at VGH and continue the engagement and support for future iterations at ambulatory clinics, UBC Hospital, and GF Strong.

Part of the success of the VGH implementation was attributed to staff and physicians being engaged early in the process. This allowed concerns to be heard and acted on. Sharing challenges was also seen as important. While many of the physicians working at UBCH, GF Strong, and ambulatory clinics now have experience working with Cerner, the next implementation sites come with their own unique challenges. Physician voices will need to be heard to build the system.

There is a connection between physician wellness/burnout and learning new electronic medical records systems. Training and support are known to be vital for successful EMR adoption. Physicians and their experiences need to be at the centre. VPSA anticipates launching its 2023 physician wellness survey soon and expects to include some questions about the impact of Cerner on member wellness.

Next meeting

The group will meet again on March 9. There will be updates on physician wellness initiatives as well as plans from the VA/VC Medical Staff Planetary Health Committee.

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