“Patients used to have to fit their lives around surgery dates,” says Dr. Frank Hohn, Department Head of Dentistry – Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. “Today, surgery dates fit around patient’s lives.” Hohn was speaking at the Year Three Progress Report event held in Saskatoon in late May. Dr. Hohn’s surgical team has seen wait times for patients, many of them children, drop from over two years to three months since the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative launched in 2010.

Dr. Frank Hohn, speaks about the wait time reduction success within Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Provincial Year Three Progress Report held at Saskatoon City Hospital on May 30.

Dr. Frank Hohn, speaks about the wait time reduction success within Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Provincial Year Three Progress Report held at Saskatoon City Hospital on May 30.

The Surgical Initiative was created to put the patient first and provide medical care “sooner, safer and smarter.” One of the most significant goals of the initiative is to ensure that by 2014, all Saskatchewan patients have the option of having their surgery within three months.
“We are pleased that we continue to reduce the overall number of patients waiting for surgery,” says Jenny Bartsch, Director of Surgery Services. “We have made incredible progress in a really short timeline. The involvement, participation and teamwork between various departments and individuals has resulted in improvements for patients beyond just reductions in wait times. We have established assessment pathways for spine, hip and knee and prostate cancer. We have implemented the surgical checklist and colorectal cancer screening.”
Saskatoon Health Region performed more than 39,500 surgical procedures last year. This represents 40 per cent of provincial surgical capacity and is by far the most of any region in the province. Saskatoon Health Region did not meet the year-end target that no patient would wait more than six months for the option for surgery. But the Region came very close, offering the target wait time to more than 91 per cent of our patients.

The highlights of year three of this initiative for the Region include:

  • significant progress in the reduction of surgical wait times for patients;
  • opening of the innovative 18-bed surgical unit on the 4th floor of St. Paul’s Hospital;
  • expansion of the Breast Health Centre at Saskatoon City Hospital;
  • implementation of bed management software in Saskatoon’s three acute care hospitals; and
  • development of the prostate pathway.

To learn more about the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, visit www.sasksurgery.ca.