Alberta’s Surgery SCN. He is part of acore group of up to 50 people who meetonce a month to explore ways to improvesurgery—both for patients and thesystem as a whole.
Much of the Surgery SCN’s workfocuses on changing processes, ratherthan adopting new technology. As oneof his first projects, White visited 16 ofAlberta’s biggest hospitals and comparednotes. Collectively, these hospitalsaccount for roughly 90 per cent ofsurgeries in the province.
“We hear stories about what’s
happening, and we get ideas. Say they’re
doing this cool thing in Grande Prairie
that nobody else has heard about,” White
says. “We wonder, would that fit inside
South Health Campus (in Calgary), or
would it fit in Medicine Hat?”
White says patient advisers give
crucial input to Alberta’s SCNs. For
example, Garry Laxdal, a survivor of
BRINGINGinnovation TO LIFE
PRIHS (Partnership for Researchand Innovation in the Health System),a partnership between Alberta HealthServices and Alberta Innovates. At itsheart are 15 strategic clinical networks(SCNs). These trademarked networksbring together researchers, clinicians,administrators, patients, families, policy-makers and others to improve patientoutcomes and healthcare quality.
Joseph says the advantage of SCNs
is that they can quickly put new
technologies and approaches to work—
and evaluate them on the fly. This nimble
system can help attract researchers and
innovators to our province, he says.
“SCNs take a very integrated approach,”
Joseph says. “They don’t look at simply
evaluating the impact of a widget, but
more at the entire care pathway for a
Since April 2017, Dr. Jonathan White
has been the senior medical director for
are changing on a day-to-day basis.
Medicine has the ability to be dynamic
as well. We now have the tools to enable
If the pace of healthcare change is
dizzying, the implications are even
more so. Our health, and our very lives,
depends on our ability to adapt.
One way to keep up with change is
to help lead it. And that’s a new role for
Alberta, Joseph says. “In past decades,
we chose to be a follower. That’s what
made sense for Alberta at the time.
The challenge now is the plethora of
new technologies, new approaches and
the fact that populations have unique
requirements. It is becoming more and
more evident that jurisdictions need
to make their own decisions about
Alberta’s approach to health
innovation largely revolves around