Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Ensures the continued Delivery of High Quality Care and Fiscal Sustainability with its 2017/18 Recovery Plan

Chatham-Kent: June 27, 2017 -- Today, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) released details of its 2017/18 Recovery Plan to the public and key stakeholders. Through a robust and methodical process, the organization’s Recovery Plan was developed to ensure the hospital can continue to deliver high quality care and support equipment renewal, facility repair and replacement and program enhancements, while achieving a performance that is equivalent to peer hospitals.
“We are confident that our Recovery Plan will ensure we reach financial health while allowing us to make significant investments in the future of healthcare delivery for our community,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO. “The expertise, insight and thoughtful consideration of all those involved in the process established a plan that will be respectful of our employees and enhance the delivery of high quality care.” 
CKHA has operated at a deficit for many years, leading to a precarious financial situation and an inability to invest in new program initiatives, equipment or facilities. Over the last nine months significant effort has gone into returning the Alliance to a sustainable position through improving efficiency. From September 2016 to May 2017, CKHA has reduced 19 leadership roles, a reduction of 22 per cent. These reductions in management positions coupled with recent funding announcements by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have enabled CKHA to end 2016/17 with a small surplus (excluding building depreciation), only the second time in the past 7 fiscal years that a balanced position has been achieved by year-end. 
“Today’s announcement is a crucial step in our organizational transformation that ensures we can continue to provide the appropriate services to the community in a sustainable manner,” said Rob Devitt, Hospital Supervisor. “A key aspect in developing the plan was through a benchmarking process that compared CKHA’s performance among peer hospitals. This process demonstrated that other organizations have achieved success under the same funding formula. With a collective effort CKHA can achieve similar outcomes and add greater value to the healthcare system.”
To support equipment renewal, facility repair and replacement and program enhancements, a stable source of cash is urgently needed for the organization. There is significant room for CKHA to operate more efficiently to create the needed funds for reinvestment. A review of the organization’s performance through the current hospital funding formula suggests that CKHA operates inefficiently. 
A process to develop plans to provide service and financial stability for CKHA has been underway for some months. CKHA worked with medical professionals, in consultation with a team of experts, to examine how the hospital could ensure quality of care as efficiently as possible, while delivering the care the community needs within the organization’s means. The hospital worked very methodically in developing the Recovery Plan and also looked to reduce the impact to employees of the plan. CKHA believes that through early retirement incentives and given the historical turnover rate at the hospital, these plans can be implemented with virtually no involuntary job loss. In 2017/18 a reduction of 38 staff members is proposed equating to approximately 26 full-time and 15 part-time positions. CKHA is very confident that this reduction can be achieved through attrition as the normal annual turnover rate is approximately 70 staff per year. 
With reductions CKHA will be making needed reinvestments in equipment, facilities and services. Examples of these investments include: 
Reinvestment and program and service enhancements: 
• An additional 73 Knee replacements as well as 14 Hip replacements; 
• Additional physician coverage in the Emergency Department of 6 hours/day; 
• Increased respiratory coverage of the Sydenham Campus of 16 hours/day; 
• Shifting from bedded to ambulatory services with enhanced access to care through planned expansion of specialist clinics at both campuses; and 
Reinvestment and infrastructure renewal and enhancements: 
• Progressing capital renewal plans for the physical Chatham and Sydenham Campuses; and 
• Significant investment in replacement and new capital equipment including a new Health Information System. 
• New Bassinets on Women & Children’s 
• New Laryngoscope in Emergency Department (ED) - a tool used for physicians when used for intubation 
• Vital signs monitors 
• Neonatal/Infant Transport Isolette – for critical patient transfers to tertiary centres 
• Point of Care Ultrasound and resources to support advanced training for ER physicians at both campuses
The sustainability of hospitals in general, and CKHA specifically, depends on credible fiscal planning and management at all times. The demands of an aging population, the need to invest in new and expanded programs, the promise of new technologies and the need to have contemporary facilities all require ongoing efforts to find and realize efficiencies within the funding envelope. CKHA is committed to a culture of performance now and in the future. The approach used to develop the plan for 2017/18 will become a regular way of doing business in the future; seeking out best practices, understanding how CKHA compares and then identifying opportunities to improve access to quality care and services while managing the resources in the most cost efficient and effective way. This is how the organization will achieve its vision to become an exceptional community hospital.
Click here to view the full details of CKHA’s 2017/18 Recovery Plan.
To arrange an interview, please contact:
Fannie Vavoulis
Director, Communications & Medical Affairs
fvavoulis [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca

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