When the Atlantic Node Safer Healthcare Now! Steering Committee (ANSC) was formed in January 2006, little did they know of the inter-provincial relationships that would develop, or the capacity building results it would achieve. In September 2010, the Atlantic Deputy Ministers of Health approved the transition of the ANSC to a broader, more inclusive and formal health quality and patient safety structure, the Atlantic Health Quality and Patient Safety Collaborative (AHQPSC).
Theresa Fillatre, Safer Healthcare Now! Leader, Atlantic Canada and Interim Chair of the AHQPSC, indicates that the Collaborative was carefully crafted to avoid duplication and competition, and to ensure a clear focus: “The scope of the Collaborative includes facilitation, capacity building, relationship building, knowledge exchange, and the provision of advice and recommendations. It is an opportunity to keep the momentum and relationships going between the Atlantic provinces, so that we can come together on one or two major initiatives each year that will build capacity in all four provinces, without each one trying to go it alone.”
Keith Dewar, CEO of Health PEI says, “It is important to recognize our Atlantic leaders and the expertise, experience and resources they can provide. The Collaborative provides a significant opportunity and is a real milestone in our ability to advance the quality and patient agenda. It also helps achieve consistency and promotes economies of scale. With a unified Atlantic voice we can contribute to the provincial, territorial and national quality and patient safety tables.”
“The AHQPSC encompasses a mix of previous ANSC members for continuity and some new members to expand the focus,” says Fillatre. AHQPSC members include the Chairs of the provincial quality and patient safety structures in each of the four Atlantic provinces, as well as government and health system representatives. An initial meeting will take place in February 2011.
One of the first deliverables of the Collaborative is to develop a business plan. They will also explore opportunities to bring patient safety programs such as the Effective Governance for Quality & Patient Safety Program and the new Patient Safety Education Program (PSEP-Canada) to Atlantic Canada.