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Client Story: Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services (AHS) Profile:

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is the provider of specialty, acute and continuing health care for the 3.7 million residents of the province of Alberta.  The formation of AHS in 2008 was the one of the largest mergers in Canadian history, unifying formerly local and regional operations into a 90,000 person health system.  The AHS network includes 98 acute care hospitals (including 12 major facilities), and a variety of urgent and specialty care sites.

 

Challenge/Opportunity:

Following the creation of AHS by the provincial government of Alberta, efforts to improve care and enhance access to services were expanded by a variety of new initiatives. While well intentioned, many of these efforts failed to yield desired benefits. In addition, alignment of efforts across the organization was poor (with significant overlap and duplication of effort) while the inconsistency of approaches applied around the organization made it increasingly difficult to align goals, sustain results, and share best practices.

 

Pivotal Services and Solutions:

AHS’s Executive Committee (EC) launched an effort to adopt a single, enterprise-wide improvement planning and execution method. After evaluating credentials and proposals from a variety of consulting firms, Pivotal Resources was selected to provide a broad array of services to guide and support the unifying effort.

Pivotal’s role has spanned the breadth of guiding the planning, development and roll-out of the entire initiative, tracking project progress, managing budgets for the overall effort and specific projects, engaging support from key stakeholders, and analyzing process and performance data to develop and implement improvements.

 

Results:

Working closely with senior leaders and the AHS Quality & Healthcare improvement organization, accomplishments and progress to-date include:

  • Development, socialization and EC approval of the AHS Improvement Way, a unique, common-sense, flexible roadmap for change initiative—appropriate for strategic-level goal setting and prioritization, day-to-day problem solving, cross-functional projects or major transformational initiatives.
  • Refinement of change governance and priority-setting practices to better ensure effective use to resources to deliver meaningful progress on key goals
  • Application of the AHS Improvement Way to several high-profile improvement efforts, including a cross-functional “Care Transformation Initiative” at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, a multi-site “Emergency Department Flow” initiative, and a provincial initiative to find efficiencies in areas of high cost variation.
  • Province-wide communication; executive, manager and front-line training to introduce the AHS Improvement Way and build capability in planning and executing on strategic goals and improvement initiatives.
  • Application of the AHS Improvement Way to several high-profile improvement efforts, including a cross-functional “Care Transformation Initiative” at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, a multi-site “Emergency Department Flow” initiative, and a provincial initiative to find efficiencies in areas of high cost variation.

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Success Stories - Pivotal Resources