A day of listening and learning for CMEPP

Participant Engagement Meeting uncovers challenges and innovation

“If you take work off my team so we’re not burning out, that definitely helps us.”

At a blue-sky idea meeting in November, CMEPP Participant members, working as leaders in lab and imaging departments around Ontario, spoke candidly about how they’re coping with equipment challenges, staff shortages, burnout, and budget constraints.

Under pressure but undaunted, they were also anxious to consider how CMEPP could play a role in managing those challenges.

“We’re excited about our value proposition but we feel there’s more we can do to extend our services in non-traditional ways,” said CMEPP CEO Nils Clausen. “Our goal with this session, and others we’ve held, is to consider how we can collaborate more with new innovative solutions.”

But first, they heard about the orange lanyard. Brendan Kwolek, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Halton Healthcare spoke to Participants about the novel ways the hospital has devised to recognize and celebrate employees. “Employees are nominated by their peers for exceptional work and for that get to wear the orange lanyard,” said Brendan. “The stresses in healthcare are real, but we have to find ways to bring fun into the workplace.”

As the afternoon’s discussion unfolded, a few burning issues rose to the surface:

  • how to define what constitutes a piece of equipment’s “End of Useful Life”,
  • lack of capital to purchase new equipment,
  • unplanned downtime,
  • the need for more data,
  • better access to portable equipment.

No access to talent

The biggest worry is the gap created by staff shortages and turnover. Even in this troubled area, Participants have creative ideas, including creating a pool of available talent they could all access, bringing back retired employees and hiring students. CMEPP Relationship Executive TJ Jarvis asked Participants if they only had to make one call to CMEPP (instead of multiple calls to vendors), would that help? The answer was a resounding yes.

For TJ, the airing of concerns and ideas is the fuel that feeds CMEPP’s innovation pipeline. “Everything we hear gives us concrete information on how we can help,” he said. “What we learned today is that there is real momentum to making things better.”

Nils agreed this kind of feedback is essential. “We recognize it’s tough for people to step away from their jobs, but they spoke honestly and openly to us and to each other. We heard so much and we’re grateful for that.”