Working together for physician engagement and better patient care

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Facility engagement. Diversity, equity, and inclusion. Leadership development. Physician wellbeing. If you thought for a moment these are all priorities your VPSA addresses, you wouldn’t be wrong. They are also VCH portfolios that Associate Vice President of Medicine, Quality & Safety Dr. Chad Kim Sing has been working to bring together under the same umbrella for the past year. Dr. Kim Sing spoke about his work at a recent VPSA Breakfast with Leaders session.

“We do a lot of good work, but we often do it in silos,” he said. “We know that it is better to work together rather than duplicate what others are doing. The challenge is how to bring them all together.”

Dr. Kim Sing started his medical career as an emergency physician and choose to become a medical leader because he wanted to help change the system. He spent several years in leadership roles within the Emergency Department.

“There wasn’t a lot of formal help at the time; no straightforward pathway to becoming a leader,” he recalled. “That’s part of what I wanted to change. When the associate VP positions were created, I didn’t want to leave Emergency as the department head and medical director but saw it as an opportunity to take on a new role and shape it.”

Engaging with VPSA

VPSA Managing Director Dr. York Hsiang commented that several of the areas Dr. Kim Sing mentioned are ones where the association is working closely with VCH. He has noted, though, that sometimes project goals seem to change.

“We’re constantly reviewing and prioritizing our work plans,” responded Dr. Kim Sing. “If we have too many priorities, we have no priority. We need to understand the impacts when we don’t keep pace.”

VPSA board member Dr. Alex Lee said, “What you’re trying to accomplish is what we’re also trying to do. We want the same things including developing leaders for a reason and giving them a role. We [VPSA] want to be involved.”

Working together is a path forward that Dr. Kim Sing supports. He mentioned that VCH is also doing fact-finding work with Interior Health and its Navig8 medical leadership program to develop medical leaders.

On building relationships

In response to a question regarding contract negotiations between VCH and radiologists, Dr. Kim Sing noted that importance of building and strengthening relationships longitudinally.

“We can do a better job of how we socialize what’s coming up… the how’s; the why’s; the needs. Seeking feedback and communicating better—and learning from our mistakes—will go a long way in helping us tackle tough issues.”

Dr. Kim Sing also acknowledged it takes realization that there is a need to do things differently.

“Part of my role is to explore,” he said, “and that includes working more with groups like VPSA.”

Adding the voice of nurse practitioners

Nurse practitioners are now members of our MSA. They also recently created a Department of Nurse Practitioners, which is helping elevate their voice within VCH. NP Elizabeth Leonardis took the opportunity to attend this Breakfast with Leaders session.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with Dr. Kim Sing in a casual environment where he could relay the goals he and his team are actively pursuing within the organization, while at the same time getting to know him a little better as a human being,” she said. “When we have trust in our leaders to represent us as clinicians and our patients, it goes a long way.”

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