Healthy Healthcare Workplaces

by Marlene Smadu and Wayne Strelioff | Oct 30, 2007

Session Resources

Listen to the highlights

October 30, 2007
English only

Wayne Strelioff's presentation focused on the work undertaken by the collaborative outlined in the report Within Our Grasp: A Healthy Workplace Action Strategy for Success and Sustainability in Canada's Healthcare System.

  • Leaders of organizations that perform well pay attention to the health of their workplace because they know a healthy workplace is linked to organizational performance, quality service and public confidence.
  • Organizations that do not perform well usually have unhealthy workplaces, but their leaders do not know this.
  • Building a healthy workplace takes time, leadership and perseverance. Leaders must:
    • demonstrate clearly that the quality of worklife is a strategic priority;
    • define success in terms of measurable indicators and set targets for improvement;
    • assign responsibility and accountability with consequences; and
    • measure, monitor, report and adjust.
  • Organizations that are successful have been able to:
    • move to evidence-informed governance, management and accountability practices;
    • make the quality of the workplace a critical element of their success and integral to all decisions
    • a fourth pillar to sustainability thinking;
    • align the standards of organizational practice with personal values and expectations; and
    • foster an environment of collaboration through the mutual respect for skills and contributions.
  • Change takes time and requires a willingness to accept responsibility in an open manner. Such openness is not easy.

Dr. Smadu's presentation focused on key points of research that led to the development of the action strategy for the collaborative.

  • Experience as a researcher
  • How I'm involved in the Quality Worklife
  • Quality Healthcare Collaborative
  • Key points of research that led to the development of the action strategy Used existing evidence and expertise:
    • How to create need and energy for change
    • increasing awareness and engagement
    • How will we know change is an improvement?
    • standard quality of worklife indicators
    • Lots of evidence and information
    • how can people access and use it? Quality of worklife knowledge exchange
    • Where do we start? Priority organizational and system actions

Featured Speakers

Marlene Smadu, RN, EdD, is president of the Canadian Nurses Association and the associate dean for the Regina site of the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan.

Prior to that she served as the principal nursing advisor (2000-02) and assistant deputy minister of health (1998-2000) for the government of Saskatchewan. She also worked as education consultant and executive director at the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (1994-98). Dr. Smadu is vice-chair of the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and a member of Health Canada's National Expert Committee for Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Patient-Centred Practice. She chairs the Canadian Patient Safety Institute's committee on education and professional development and is a member of the steering committee for the national Quality Worklife - Quality Healthcare Collaborative. Dr. Smadu is the co-chair of the Saskatchewan Provincial Nursing Committee. Her research program includes health human resource planning and development, aboriginal health, the development of quality workplaces, quality improvement, health policy, knowledge transfer and leadership.

Wayne Strelioff, M.Sc., FCA, chairs the Quality Worklife - Quality Healthcare Collaborative, a national collaborative formed by 12 national health organizations to develop an evidence-informed framework and action strategy to make Canada's public health workplaces healthier and to improve the quality of care provided.

He also is a member of the Health Council of Canada's value for money steering committee.

Prior to this, Mr. Strelioff served as auditor general of British Columbia from 2000 to 2006 and as provincial auditor of Saskatchewan from 1990 to 2000. In 1992, he was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada, which recognized significant contributions to compatriots, the community and to Canada. In 2003, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia recognized him for his contribution to the accounting profession throughout his career by naming him a fellow and awarding him the FCA designation.

For more information, please contact roc-csa@chsrf.ca or 613-728-2238 ext. 221.