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Canada’s registered nurses join with Council of the Federation to drive health-care transformation

Halifax, Thursday, July 26, 2012 — Leaders of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) are in Halifax this week as the Council of the Federation meets. On the agenda is From Innovation to Action, a report from the council’s health-care innovation working group, of which CNA participated on in collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association and Health Action Lobby.

Canada’s registered nurses (RNs) appreciated the opportunity to bring forth nursing solutions on clinical practice guidelines and team-based models of care that are already in place and making a difference in how care is delivered. Eleven provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges from across Canada worked collaboratively to contribute these solutions to the working group. CNA believes both areas are critical to successful health-care system transformation and improving timely and equitable access to high-quality care in every region.

“RNs are working at every level of the health system, across the continuum of care, to deliver the best care to Canadians, and we can help lead a move to transformed health care,” said CNA president Barb Mildon. “We are thrilled the premiers are taking control of the reins to health care and involving Canada’s health providers in that journey.”

Along with CNA, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) and the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia (CRNNS) participated on the working group, with RNAO offering its vast expertise on clinical practice guidelines. RNAO’s guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Foot Ulcers for People with Diabetes is prominently featured in the health-care innovation working group’s report as one of the two clinical practice guidelines for pan-Canadian implementation. RNAO’s guidelines emphasize how preventive care, education and early treatment can reduce foot amputations of diabetic patients, which are costly to both the health system and the physical and emotional well-being of Canadians.

“RNAO was delighted to be a part of and contribute to the clinical practice guidelines working group,” said RNAO CEO Doris Grinspun. “Transformation of our country’s health-care system must be grounded in evidence and driven by achieving improved patient care and outcomes. RNAO applauds Canada’s premiers for putting this principle at the forefront of their health-care mission.”

CRNNS and the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses brought forth its experience with team-based models of care, which are shown to lead to better health outcomes, improve access to care and lead to better value from the system. Nova Scotia’s collaborative emergency centre (CEC) model, for example, is held up in the report as a potential solution to access issues in rural areas. The centres offer high quality comprehensive primary care and are designed to treat emergency illness or injury in a timely fashion. These centres, which are located either within or in very close proximity to a rural hospital or health-care facility, are staffed during the day by RNs and nurse practitioners working alongside physicians and other health-care professionals, and by a registered nurse, paramedic and oversight physician working collaboratively throughout the night. 

“It is encouraging to see the success of the CECs introduced to date,” said CRNNS executive director Donna Denney. “They represent just one example of new ways in which RNs and other health-care professionals can combine their respective knowledge, skills and expertise to deliver quality health care and, with specific reference to the CECs, effectively and efficiently meet the unique health needs of rural communities.”

The health-care innovation working group, chaired by Robert Ghiz, Premier of Prince Edward Island, and Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan, presented From Innovation to Action to the Council of the Federation during its annual summer meeting. Premiers Ghiz and Wall agreed to continue leading the working group for the next phase of work. The full report can be downloaded from the council’s website, http://www.councilofthefederation.ca.  

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. A federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 146,788 registered nurses, CNA advances the practice and profession of nursing to improve health outcomes and strengthen Canada’s publicly funded, not-for-profit health system.


For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Kate Headley, External Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
Telephone: 613-237-2159, ext. 561
Cell: 613-697-7507
E-mail: kheadley@cna-aiic.ca