By Elaine O’Connor
Everyone has a story about a home health care hero.
Home health care professionals are so intimately involved in their clients’ daily lives that they often form bonds and go above and beyond their job descriptions to ensure their clients receive the highest quality of care.
The foundation of this kind of patient-centered quality community home care system depends upon a similar kind of dedication from behind the scenes heroes working in home care administration.
Fraser Health’s Bryce Walker, the B.C. Health Authority’s Home Support Services Regional Coordinator, has that dedication and he’s dedicated his entire career to the field.
He joined the Home Support Team in 2004, soon after high school, and has since filled nearly every position in his field – from scheduler to clerk to IT administrator to program coordinator – except for providing direct patient care.
It was this diverse knowledge of the system that enabled him to take the reins during the incredibly complex centralization of Home Support Services in 2015. Bryce led efforts to standardize service delivery, protocols, and administration of home care support between regions with the ultimate goal of improving care delivery and patient experience.
Bryce put in hundreds of hours of his own time on evenings and weekends to establish the new workplace and support employees with the transition. The Abbotsford-based coordinator collaborated with teams across New Westminster, Tri-Cities, Maple Ridge, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission to ease their experience of reorganization and mentored new schedulers and clerks.
His goal, Bryce said, was to “ensure we are not doing things differently in one community to another in terms of support structures for community health workers, which really just speaks to the quality of our care. The end result is more consistent services for clients. I kind of looked at it as bringing all the blood to the internal organs – bringing everything into one place to keep those critical systems going.”
His team of 35 home support scheduling employees now organize care for approximately 2,600 patients, connecting them with care from 850 community health workers who provide an average of 109,000 visits every month.
“It’s a lot of work,” Bryce explained.” We’re supporting Fraser Health initiatives like Home is Best, Home First and as well, we’re doing a new initiative called ER to Home, all of which are helping with our shift to community care.”
Colleagues praise him for motivating and inspiring others, leading by example and supporting team development initiatives which have resulted in reduced sick time, and increased employee retention, morale and productivity.
As a result of his efforts, Bryce was recognized by the health authority with a Fraser Health Above and Beyond Award for Service Delivery Excellence in September.
Learn more about Bryce’s work in this video and article: http://news.fraserhealth.ca/News/September-2017/Bryce-Walker-Service-Delivery-Excellence-Award.aspx
Elaine O’Connor works in communications at Fraser Health.