Change Day comes to Canadian health care – but will it make a difference?

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  1. Colleen Kennedy

    This is a great question! You can watch stories regarding Change Day BC’s impact at: Our report full of stories and actions is coming soon too! Definitely a healthy ripple across the province.

  2. Dennis Kendel

    I’ve participated in Change Day in Saskatchewan in each of the past two years. Change Day was hosted by the Health Quality Council (HQC) which is committed to CQI in healthcare with a goal of making care more patient/family centered. I’ve served on the HQC Board of Directors since its inception which has enabled me to gain an appreciation for the challenges inherent in large scale change. During the course of each of these two Change Day campaigns I witnessed very board engagement of healthcare workers and students in reflection about what they can do personally to improve their health and the health of others. I do feel this social movement has a positive impact on the culture of healthcare but admit it is very difficult to assess how sustained that impact may be

  3. Simona

    Re: “Change Day is nice, but it’s like you’re picking one wedge of the pie. It’s not a full quality improvement cycle”.

    Food (or pie?) for thought: I believe Change Day is about touching people’s hearts. It calls on people’s deepest purpose. It looks to unleash the ingenuity that is bursting in frontline staff but is far from being utilized. It’s about culture. Talking about a PDSA cycle when you have unmotivated staff is like trying to make an omelette without breaking the eggs.

    Organization culture eats – and will eat – strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    Every time.

    That is why I pledged, and why I believe that we can ALL make a difference.

  4. Peter G M Cox

    This is a very laudable attempt by those “at the sharp-end” of healthcare to initiate change and I hope (and believe) it will produce to some positive results.

    However, Dr. Danielle Martin’s comments are particularly appropriate: significant organisational change only occurs as the result of the LEADERSHIP (and example) provided by the most senior levels of management (and, conversely, lack of it produces the poor morale referred to in the article).

    It would be particularly encouraging to hear that those in such leadership positions were committed to participating in this initiative themselves (in PRACTICAL terms, i.e. through action, not exhortation).

    • Damian Roland

      Great point here. One of the things we realised in Change Day (in the UK) was that while we were promoting what is in essence a bottom up approach we were very cogniscent of the fact that leadership from senior positions was also required. We encouraged kick-starters in our second year to bring the top and bottom together! (example from the Chief Executive of the hospital I was working at)

  5. Dr. Franklin Warsh

    This will probably be 100x more useful than the current situation, with administrators trying to ram the MBA school flavor-of-the-month down the throats of front line providers.

    • Sam Smith


  6. Mary Freer

    The success of Change Day here in Australia is measurable. The focus for us has been collective responsibility and growing self agency. We are seeing greatest impact when we raise the importance of particular areas of concern. For instance powerful government and individual response to the focus on bullying and harassment. This is one example where it is not solely about great leadership – it is about ‘leaders everywhere’ and collective responsibility to build a safer culture.
    People work ChDay around the things that we collectively need most traction on. Hospital CEOs report that change day improves creativity and innovation. We have seen one large hospital reduce their clinical waste by 50% and have fun doing it.
    It’s not the complete magic bullet to improving the healthcare system – we don’t expect it to be. It is an extremely low cost opportunity for our health and care workforce to make public their aspirational pledges to do better. Who wouldn’t want 77,000 people all saying “let’s do great work”?

  7. Bullcrap

    The only change that a dependent employee can make on their organization is to change jobs.

    He who does not hold the purse strings does not hold the power.

    This is as true now as it has ever been.

  8. Darren Larsen

    The best place to start is where you are.
    Interesting that BC is taking a breath to evaluate, but we must be careful that this is not branded a loss of confidence. I am sure that this will lead to a much more effective engagement when it comes back next year! It’s smart to analyze the outcomes and the level of engagement. This is process is well recognized in the business world, like rapid cycle prototyping in the startup space. Something that we are just figuring out in Healthcare.
    Now how to scale and spread?

  9. Tracy

    Although we might look to others to change or bring about change, Change Day asks us to look to ourselves instead. While this can be scary and intimidating, it can also be empowering as it makes us instrumental to and responsible for the change we are seeking.

    For those of us who have made or will make a Change Day pledge, a conscious decision is involved. This decision sees thoughts, ideas and desires transforming into action. As such, Change Day ripples have the potential of existing well beyond the actual day itself, making every day a day for change…a change day.

  10. TapOff

    how many provinces too part in this one day? one day of hospital medicine only? one day of patient centred unhierarchical awarneness? one day of not thinking about ‘risk management’ for institutions or providers as opposed to actual patient care and the risks patients take entering the very narrowly defined health system? one day in thinking differenly about holistic, team based health care problem solving and policy improvement and ‘silo busting’.

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