• 2012


  • Winner


  • Leadership in Quality

According to the person who nominated Claire Mackelson for this award, “Every program within Vancouver Island Health Authority wants ‘a Claire.’”

Claire Mackelson accepting her plaque from BCPSQC Chair Doug Cochrane at Health Talks

Claire is a nurse by training and has significant cardiac care experience within the UK and Canada. She recently led the development of an Integrated Quality Management System for Cardiac Services in the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and in partnership with Interior Health Authority. The goal was to improve quality of cardiac care through development and implementation of data-driven quality management strategies.

Claire was instrumental in developing and implementing a new framework for VIHA’s Heart Health program that was so effective that its strategies were spread to other acute care programs within VIHA.

Some of Claire’s work for this project included a literature review of quality management systems; a needs analysis of Heart Health’s physicians and administrative leadership; logic model development; and process mapping. Her work involved extensive consultation with care providers, physicians, numerous VIHA departments and partners as well as colleagues and other facilities throughout the country.

Using a streamlined process, heart attack patients from two other sites in the region are brought directly to the catheterization lab at Royal Jubilee Hospital, where they are given the specialized care they needed within a crucial 90-minute window. This practice saves lives.

The department, as a result of Claire’s leadership, now documents and monitors indicators and metrics per the dimensions of quality. And by better monitoring information, the program has been able to implement a number of quality improvement initiatives. The work has been so successful that a number of the new initiatives and methodologies have been spread to other facilities and programs within VIHA.

Claire has also taken initiative to train colleagues in techniques like process mapping and failure mode effect analysis to turn inefficiencies and adverse events into valuable learning opportunities. She has worked with physicians to develop tracking documents for case reviews and quality improvement metrics. And she has supported colleagues by establishing a quality coordinator network, making it possible for all to learn together.