The British Columbia Patient Safety & Quality Council builds a foundation of quality, provides advice and makes recommendations to the Minister of Health on matters related to patient safety and quality of care in all health care sectors. The Council brings health system stakeholders together in partnership to promote and inform provincially coordinated, innovative, and patient- and family-centred approaches to patient safety and quality in British Columbia.
Within the context of the strategic priorities of the health system for British Columbia, the Council will:
- Bring system-wide leadership and coordination in advancing a culture of quality within the province;
- Facilitate the building of capability and expertise for patient safety and quality in the BC health system;
- Support health authorities and other health sector stakeholders in their continuing efforts to improve quality;
- Improve health system transparency and accountability to patients and the public for the safety and quality of care provided in British Columbia; and
- Identify and promote local, regional and provincial opportunities for engaging the patient perspective in health care transformation.
Key Roles & Responsibilities
The Council will work to meet the above noted objectives through activities in the following areas:
System-wide Leadership and Coordination
- Provide advice and make recommendations to the Minister of Health with respect to transformational change to facilitate improvements in the quality of care, including issues which may periodically be referred to the Council by the Minister, health authorities or other health organizations;
- Lead and coordinate the development and implementation of provincial safety and quality initiatives, guidelines, protocols and practice changes known to improve health outcomes for patients and clients served by all health care sectors;
- Respond to emerging quality and safety issues as they arise; and
- Form networks, sub-committees and working groups, and commission other activities as necessary in response to emerging safety and quality issues.
Measurement and Evaluation
- Assist the Ministry of Health and other health sector stakeholders in the development of performance indicators related to patient safety and quality; and
- Foster the development of processes and techniques to define, measure, implement and sustain optimal care delivery for the BC health care system.
Legislation and Regulation
- Provide advice regarding health care legislation and regulation to promote and advance a provincial patient safety and quality agenda as requested.
Education and Professional Development
- Promote improvement in the safety and quality of care through training and education and develop programs and activities for this purpose;
- Inform the work of universities; and
- Conduct and commission research in safety and quality to support Council initiatives.
Patient and Public Engagement
- Engage the public to be active participants in their own care and develop programs and activities for this purpose;
- Develop mechanisms to improve health system transparency and accountability to patients for the safety and quality of care in British Columbia; and
- Contribute to a patient- and family- centred system of care through meaningful engagement in health system improvement and transformation.
Composition of the Council
The Council will consist of a Chair and six members, as well as two ex-officio members: a Ministry of Health representative and the University of British Columbia.
The Chair and members are selected for their personal credibility, expertise and experience as it relates to patient safety and quality improvement. Collectively the Council will reflect the following qualities:
- Expertise in team-based care/inter-disciplinary teams; or understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a variety of health care professions and stakeholders and broad view of the health care system within a wellness approach;
- Expertise in large scale change, managing social movements and change theory;
- Extensive and recent clinical experience;
- Expertise in change management/quality improvement in or out of the health care sector;
- Knowledge of quality indicators, measurement, evaluation and health services research;
- Knowledge of culture, engagement and adaptive leadership strategies;
- Experience and representation as a patient partner; and
- Significant experience at a senior executive / Board level within private and/or BC public service sectors.
To reflect BC’s diverse population the Council should continue to seek out appropriate candidates including women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ individuals, and others who may contribute to a diverse board with a range of perspectives. This also includes seeking candidates from all regions of the province including those with business and community experience. The Crown Agency and Board Resourcing Office (CABRO) at the Ministry of Finance should be used to support the appointment process.
The Minister shall appoint one member to the position of Chair of the Council. All other Council members shall be appointed by the Minister on the advice of the Chair. Council members will select a Vice-Chair from its membership. Where the Chair is absent or unable to act, or the office of Chair is vacant, the Vice-Chair will serve temporarily as Chair and may exercise all the powers and shall perform all the duties of this role.
The Chair, through the Chief Executive Officer, will assume full responsibility for the management of Council operations, and is accountable to the Minister of Health or delegate thereof.
Responsibilities to the Minister
The Council receives its mandate from and is ultimately accountable to the Minister of Health for the manner in which it carries out its affairs.
The Council shall prepare and submit for the approval of the Minister a multi-year strategic plan to support the health system priorities, an operational plan for each fiscal year, and any other plans, reports, reviews, returns, records or information that the Minister (or delegate) requests.
If the Minister(s) is not satisfied that the Council has undertaken work in accordance with the approved work plan or any other direction, the Council shall take such action as directed by the Minister to rectify this situation.
Notwithstanding these requirements, the Deputy Minister or delegate will serve as the key point of contact between the Minister and Council with respect to day to day issues and activities.
Information and Communication
(a) Meetings of the Council
The timing and frequency of meetings will be determined by the tasks required to fulfill the Council’s operational plan approved by the Minister. All meetings of the Council will be convened by the Chair (or Vice-Chair) as appropriate. Meetings will be held in Vancouver unless the Chair decides otherwise.
Networks, working groups and sub-committees associated with the Council will determine amongst their membership the appropriate timing, frequency and location of meetings.
(b) Remuneration of Members
Members of the Council are entitled to meeting fees in accordance with remuneration guidelines of the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office for attendance at meetings of both the Council and its sub-groups. Any members who are also employees of the Ministry of Health, are not entitled to meeting fees.
Expenses in accordance with government policy for activities required by the Council of its members (e.g., travel, accommodation and meals) will be met from the Council’s budget provided prior approval is received.
(c) Decision Making
Council members should strive to achieve consensus in making decisions. Where this is not possible the Chair shall seek the advice of the Minister, Deputy Minister or delegate thereof.
(d) Documentation of Meeting Outcomes
The Council is required to keep a record of all meetings, which outlines the matters discussed and includes a clear note of all decisions taken or recommendations made. The Council will submit these minutes to the Deputy Minister within a reasonable time period following all meetings.
Role of the Chair of the Council
The Council Chair’s primary role is to act as the presiding director at Council meetings and to manage the affairs of the Council of Directors (the “Council”) ensuring it is organized properly, functions effectively and meets its obligations and responsibilities.
The selection process for the Chief Executive Officer (the “CEO”) is a collaborative one between the Council and government, through the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health. The Council Chair will select a CEO to submit for approval to the Ministry of Health. Once granted, the CEO will be appointed by the Council of Directors.
The Council Chair:
- works with the CEO to ensure effective relations with government and stakeholders;
- provides advice and support to the CEO, including helping to review strategies, define issues, maintain accountability, and build relationships;
- in conjunction with the CEO, assist in representing the Council as required;
- ensure the CEO is aware of government priorities and interests;
- lead the Council in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the CEO in accordance the roles and responsibilities outlined in their job description,
- review member conflict of interest issues as they arise and take immediate steps to resolve existing or potential issues of conflict; and
- review and assess director attendance and performance and the size and composition of the Council and make recommendations to government as required.