A recent meeting at the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) in Prince George highlighted how a provincial initiative that aims to enhance physician engagement is making a difference.
Facility Engagement is a provincial initiative focused on strengthening relationships between health authorities and doctors who work in hospitals and other acute care facilities, with the goal of improving the work environment and the delivery of patient care.
For example, Facility Engagement has brought together different groups of doctors – such as family doctors and internal medicine specialists – so they can get to know each other and understand each other’s concerns.
"This has changed the culture dramatically,” says Dr. Ian Schokking, a Prince George family doctor. “Much of it was just understanding each other."
Another goal of Facility Engagement is to encourage closer working relationships between physicians and health authority staff and administrators.
In the words of Dr. John Smith, Past President of Medical Staff at UHNBC and a retired internal medicine specialist: “Now we're getting to know other people in Northern Health management, on a personal or semi-personal basis.”
He added, “We had a physician on the interview panel for Northern Health’s Health Service Administrator [for Prince George], which would have blown my mind ten years ago."
Dr. Smith has been a significant contributor to the work of Facility Engagement since its inception, both as a local physician leader and as a member of the provincial Specialist Services Committee (SSC) Facility Engagement Provincial Working Group.