Bluewater Health says it is embracing new legislative requirements aimed at increasing accountability and transparency.
On Wednesday, the organization posted the first report of its executives’ and volunteer Board members’ expenses on its website at www.bluewaterhealth.ca (click on Performance & Accountability/Expense Reporting). Bluewater Health will report on these expenses every six months in keeping with a commitment to accountability and the legislative requirements set out by the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act.
The first reporting period posted is April 1, 2011 to September 30, 2011. Interested members of the community can locate the hospital’s expense claims under the subheading ‘Performance & Accountability’.
Sue Denomy, president and CEO, said, “With accountability as one of our core values, we have embraced the opportunity to more openly share information with the public. We believe that it’s a reasonable way to promote public confidence in our management of taxpayer money, and it is consistent with the policies that already apply to senior leaders in government and other broader public sector organizations.”
Bluewater Health said in a media release: "Hospitals, like many other organizations, have executives and volunteer Board members who incur business-related expenses from time to time which are permissible and reimbursable. The expenses typically fall into three categories: travel to events such as educational conferences or off-site meetings; meals while out-of-office on business; and hospitality when hosting guests such as healthcare leaders or doctors for recruitment."
The media release continued:
"Bluewater Health has a well-developed policy related to business-related expenses incurred by its staff and the Board of Directors. The expense policy, which was developed in alignment with the Ontario Hospital Association, is also posted on the website with the expense reports."
Bruce Davies, Chair of Bluewater Health’s Board of Directors, added, “Ontario’s hospitals operate in one of the most demanding healthcare accountability systems in all of Canada. Virtually every aspect of hospitals’ performance is regularly subject to external, independent scrutiny.”
“In fact, hospitals have initiated or played a key role in shaping most of their stringent accountability measures,” he said.
Some of these transparency efforts include:
- Reviews by the Auditor General of Ontario
- Accreditation by Accreditation Canada
- Publicly reporting patient safety indicators on hospitals’ websites
- Reporting quality measures on a consumer-orientated website, www.myhospitalcare.ca
- Hospital Service Accountability Agreements
- Public reporting of wait times through Ontario’s Wait Times Strategy
- Participation in public sector salary disclosure
“Embracing the tenets of both the Excellent Care for All Act and the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act that were introduced in 2010, Bluewater Health continues to enhance quality, transparency and accountability,” Davies said.