“I don't think a peer review by a true peer is insulting or humiliating,” Dr. Denis Roy said. “I think it could provide us with very good ideas.”
Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East LHIN, told Northern Life July 10 that the peer review was prompted by the hospital's “unusually high” number of ALC patients, as well as its hospital's $3.4 million 2011-2012 deficit.
“We've decided to get a third party in to look at how we are doing business, to consider some of the financial and organizational challenges that the hospital has and to provide us with advice and recommendations as to how to move forward.”
When asked if the fact that the North East LHIN has had to call in a third-party reviewer reflects badly on hospital administration, Paquette said the move “reflects our sincere effort to move forward together.”
The peer review was set up because of ongoing issues at the hospital related to large numbers of alternate level of care (ALC) patients, as well as the $3.4-million deficit it posted for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
It will be conducted by Murray Martin, the CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences. A report based on Martin's review is scheduled to be tabled by the end of September.
“The fact that the peer reviewer, Mr. Murray Martin, comes from Hamilton, which is an academic health centre, shows that it will be a true peer review,” Roy said.
“It will be an academic health centre to academic health centre. I really respect Mr. Martin.”
The CEO said he looks at the peer review as a process similar to accreditation reviews, which are a common occurrance in the country's health-care facilities.
“Let me bring you back to the accreditation visit we had at the end of March,” Roy said. “We learned something from one of the accreditors, but one of them learned something from us that he will implement in his own centre. I see the value of peer review in that context.”
In terms of what he wants to get out of the process, the CEO said he's looking for new ideas, such as how the hospital can form partnerships with community organizations to reduce the number of ALC patients.
“If we are able to convince the peer reviewer that perhaps we should be funded better, that would be very nice, too,” Roy added.
The hospital's fiscal problems mostly aren't of its own making, he said. Although it posted a $3.4-million deficit for 2011-2012, if it didn't have to care for ALC patients, the deficit would have been closer to $450,000, Roy said.
He said the funding the province provided to run the ALC unit at the former Memorial Hospital site, which is slated to close next year, wasn't enough to meet the actual costs incurred by the program.
Posted by Arron Pickard