‘Culture’ shift taking place at Chilliwack General Hospital

Dr. Ken Hirst speaking in open discussion about why "home is best": Jan. 21

Dr. Ken Hirst (second right) works with fellow hospital staff to help a patient get mobilized at Chilliwack General Hospital. Behind him is one of the new whiteboards that help with patient motivation and communication.

Lying in a hospital bed may seem like ‘just what the doctor ordered’ — but in most cases it’s not an ideal healing place.

Being home is often what’s best for a patient, says Dr. Ken Hirst, Medical Co-Director, Head of CGH Department of Family Practice. After receiving acute care in hospital, patients released to heal at home are surrounded by familiar sights and sounds, and can be close to family and friends. And when that comfort of home is coupled with home health care, the path to healing is made even better.

Dr. Hirst will be speaking candidly about preventing hospital admissions with timely care at home in a talk scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Jan. 21.

The public is invited to come out and listen to the presentation, Top 10 Reasons Home Is Best. The evening also offers a chance to learn how to access home health services. The event is sponsored by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, and is just one part of a “culture shift” happening at Chilliwack General Hospital in regards to patient care.

Hirst is an advocate of mobilizing patients as soon as possible, and the hospital’s newest mantra is to “ambulate unless not tolerated.”

“What we did is asked for a culture shift,” Dr. Hirst explains, “to get everyone who can be moving, to be moving.”

Family members visiting the hospital are expected to take part in the mobilization, with a focus on getting back home again. Anyone who has been in hospital lately will have noticed the new white boards in each room. The boards help open up communication, and set up the idea that going home is a top priority.

They include spaces for information such as doctors’ and nurses’ names, daily goals and estimated date of discharge.

It gets the patients more involved with their health care, Dr. Hirst says.

There have also been changes throughout the hospital that patients and visitors may not notice, but are making a difference all the same.

“We’ve done a whole blend of things that have really helped with camaraderie,” Hirst says.

A job well done is no longer unnoticed in the fast-paced work environment. It could result in a letter of appreciation, or even a gift card for a coffee shop.

“It creates that positive work environment,” Hirst says, and from the feedback they’ve received so far, it seems to be working.

One staff member came back recently from an extended time away for a fill-in shift and confirmed the change in culture, saying “there are positive things going on.”

Hirst has felt the change as well.

“I was quite a jaded person myself,” he admits. “But a lot of those issues have been worked on, or even solved.”

This culture shift didn’t just happen overnight. It started with a decision to do things better, which led to Dr. Hirst creating a Site Council, consisting of Hospital Administration, Patient Care Coordinators, and Clinical Nurse Educators.

That move and the growth that’s taken place since then led him to receive the Fraser Health Above and Beyond 2015 Award for Collaborative Partnerships. (Fellow Chilliwack Division of Family Practice physician Dr. Joshua Greggain won the same award, for Service Delivery Excellence.)

While Hirst  received the official recognition, he says the real accolades should go towards the Site Council.

Because of their work, he says, “health care workers can have a voice, express their ideas, and are being rewarded more for their effort and dedication to their jobs and patients.”

Creating a better workplace in healthcare makes a difference in patient care, and the changes made at Chilliwack General are slowly being adopted by other hospitals.

To learn more, take part in the Top 10 Reasons HOME IS BEST talk, Thursday, Jan. 21 at the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre inside the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. The discussion begins at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

Just Posted

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

EDITORIAL: Post-grad years are your time

Editor Grace Kennedy shares a few words for this year’s high school grads

Dinosaurs will reign at Sto:lo Children’s Festival

Jurassic Park theme takes over long-standing, free community event

COLUMN: Llamas, goats and snakes, oh my!

Making friends on the Ryder Lake Ramble not a walk in the park

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Most Read