Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region
The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) is the largest tertiary health care delivery system in southern Saskatchewan, and one of the most integrated health delivery agencies in the country. The RQHR provides care to residents of Saskatchewan in two provincial hospitals; the Regina General Hospital and the Pasqua Hospital. The facilities offer an extraordinarily vast range of health related services to the people of the region. And people are precisely the focus of this large healthcare provider—its mission states that “people are our passion”. Recently, the RQHR ranked second out of 45 health regions in a national study that examined quality of care, access to services and patient satisfaction; a clear demonstration of this passion.
The umbrella of the RQHR stretches far and wide; they offer a full range of hospital, rehabilitation, community and public health, long term care and home care services to meet the needs of more than 260,000 residents living in cities, towns, villages, rural municipalities and First Nation communities. This month, The Canadian Business Journal explores this important Saskatchewan institution.
Diverse, integrated, healthcare
From the expected healthcare services such as critical care, cancer treatment, or burn services, to innovative programs such as an oral health screenings of kindergarten and grade one students or a maternity visiting program for new parents, the vast range of services which fall under the RQHR is impressive. The population of Regina is a unique and diverse one, with a number of special needs and concerns. For example, there is a large First Nation’s population which has specific health concerns; something the RQHR considers, for example, with its Sunrise Health Program for Aboriginal Populations.
There is a high level of substance abuse and mental health issues in the region, and the RQHR operates numerous drug and addiction rehabilitation programs and is currently involved with the development of the region’s first Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, intended to provide a framework for a new way of delivering mental health and addictions care. Another point of interest for the region is the aging population, and the RQHR has established multiple programs, services, and initiatives to encourage the health and well-being of the demographic. These are just some examples of the many services and facilities that are of concern to the region.
People rely on the RQHR for specialized health services. The mandate of the RQHR is to provide quality, accessible health services that effectively meet the needs of residents and people in southern Saskatchewan. The RQHR has with two main areas of responsibility: firstly, to assess the healthcare needs of the people of the region, prepare annual budget plans, deliver quality services and regularly evaluate services provided. Secondly, to provide specialized healthcare for approximately half a million residents in southern Saskatchewan through the two aforementioned designated provincial hospitals in Regina.
The RQHR follows the legislation of The Regional Health Services Act, and is ultimately accountable to the minister of health to achieve the provincial and regional goals and objectives for health services. This is the source of the overall direction for the organization and its strategic framework, which specifies the vision, mission and values of the organization. There are four major strategic priorities the RQHR consistently keeps in mind, pursuant to the direction of the Act: client experience, contributing to healthy communities, healthy workplace, and healthy business.
Information and publications
The RQHR is committed to being a source of information for the community, and provides numerous sources of information through the publication of information packets, newsletters, e-newsletters, and reports. There is also significant investment into education, research, and an extensive informational library database. Information collection, analysis, and the sharing thereof are of paramount importance to the RQHR. It is essential that the community is aware and educated on important health issues.
The RQHR has a high regard for energy efficiency, and the reorganization of the Saskatchewan healthcare system introduced energy efficient technologies that led to an 11 per cent energy reduction in its two main hospitals. There was significant investment into green technologies which ultimately saved the region money, including such things as retrofits to lighting, fans and building control systems, and stainless steel boiler stack economizers, amongst others. These energy efficient technologies continue to be utilized, and are an effective way to reduce the environmental impact whilst being a cost-effective strategy.
New and exciting projects
Given the scope of the RQHR, there are continually new and exciting projects underway. Just this November, the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care officially opened its doors. The new centre offers a comprehensive experience for new mothers including labour and birth services, a neonatal intensive care unit, and services for mothers and their newborns. This is just one example of the continual introduction of products, services, and facilities for this diverse region.
The RQHR is an important component of the continually improving healthcare available to the people of Saskatchewan. Under the guidance of the Regional Health Services Act and the governing bodies of the province, the region anticipates a positive future.