Saskatoon - Saskatoon Regional Health Authority today approved Saskatoon Health Region's balanced operating budget of $1.156 billion for 2015-16 and $39.6 million in new capital expenditures, based on strategies to improve services to patients.
Over the last five years, Saskatoon and area's population has increased 15.3 percent and demand for Saskatoon Health Region healthcare services has also grown, including a 17.3 per cent increase in hospital stays, a 12.1 per cent increase in hospital births, and a 10 per cent increase in surgeries. The increase in demand has been managed with a 5.9 percent (net of inflation) increase in spending.
"Just over 90 days ago, Saskatoon Health Region initiated a breakthrough patient flow strategy focused on meeting this increased demand for our care and the changing healthcare needs of our population by providing people with the right care in the right place at the right time," said President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Florizone. "The 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day patient flow initiative saw chronic overcapacity drop significantly, inappropriate patient care spaces closed and an increase to community-based supports. All this is improving services to patients while making efficient use of taxpayer dollars."
The 2015-16 budget is built on a strategy to achieve $41.66 million in cost reductions, or the equivalent cost of about 13 days of operation, which will address a projected gap between 2015-16 revenue and expenses of $22.3 million and the $19.36 million 2014-15 deficit. This strategy includes the following:
- $13.7 million in anticipated savings from patient flow initiatives including those arising from 90 Days of Innovation
- $21 million savings from reduced overtime, sick time and turnover costs, since Region-wide efforts to eliminate overcapacity also enhance employee work-life balance
- $6.96 million in savings from management of non-unionized vacant positions and reduced administrative spending (supplies, contracts travel)
The 2015-16 capital plan focuses on the Region's most critical infrastructure, information technology and equipment needs such as nurse call systems and generator replacements.
"We have only just begun to see the benefits of our priority work coming out of 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day," says Florizone. "By approaching our work differently than we have in the past, we plan to avoid deficits in the future. Most importantly, our change in approach will help employees and physicians provide the right care in the right place and time. By focusing on doing what is right for patients, families, residents and clients, and making the right investments, we know the path we are on will lead us not only to a healthier budget with better value, but better teams, and most of all, better care."