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Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

B.C. health minister appoints Jane Morley and Jean Greatbatch as mediators

The B.C. Minister of Health has appointed two mediators to bring people together at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and address issues found in a recent IHealth review.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced today the appointment of mediators Jane Morley and Jean Greatbatch.

The review into the hospital’s electronic record system by Ernst and Young was released last week and described by Dix as “quite devastating” and highly critical of how the IHealth system has been implemented in Nanaimo and on Vancouver Island. During a press conference at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, he said he would appoint a mediator to start to address issues and that all individuals involved, including the health authority, doctors, nurses’ union and patients, would be stakeholders in the process.

“To succeed with IHealth and meet the recommendations of the report, a completely different approach is required – one based on working together,” Dix said in a press release. “Mediators are very good at determining the root causes why there are difficulties or challenges in a work environment and finding the solutions that bring stakeholders together.”

Dix previously said the first task of a mediator will be to review the report, make sure everyone accepts that nothing is missing and then proceed to resolve the problems step by step with everyone in the room working together and coming to a consensus of how to proceed.

“Ordinarily you wouldn’t use a mediator in this task, I don’t think, this is a little bit different, but I think given the circumstances at the hospital, bringing someone in with that experience, will be able to bring people together, is a good idea and that’s what we propose to do,” he said.

Morley is a lawyer and mediator who has been commissioner on Canada’s initial Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a child and youth officer of B.C., and a public representative with the College of Physicians and Surgeons for eight years. Greatbatch has four decades of experience in working with organizations, acting as mediator, an investigator with the B.C. Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, instructor and health-care union representative, the press release states.

The release says mediators will work with John Bethel from Ernst and Young “to guide the process and develop the groundwork for productive discussion” and that Morley will first attend briefings by Ernst and Young and then begin to work with stakeholders. Greatbatch will join the process at a later date.

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