Patients visiting a clinic

Medtronic Partnership Improves Efficiency, Reduces Wait Times

Improvements at New Brunswick Heart Center are already evident since the partnership began.

New Brunswick, Canada, April 1, 2017 -- The evolution of Medtronic from a medical device company into a global healthcare solutions provider has taken another step forward.

A year ago this month, Medtronic Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) started working with Canada’s Horizon Health Network to advise and consult with the heart surgery department at Horizon’s New Brunswick Heart Centre (NBHC). All with the goal of improving operating efficiency and treating more patients. Watch a video about the partnership.

“I am confident this will be a great success story,” said Janine Doucet, Administrative Director at New Brunswick Heart Center at the outset of the project. 

Medtronic brings its international expertise in hospital operations to NBHC, starting first in heart surgery. The focus is on streamlining operations, from booking surgeries to admitting and discharging patients and optimizing their hospital stay. 

Increased Access to Care at 1 Year

The Canadian standard for outpatient procedures calls for patients to receive surgery within six weeks (42 days) of a recommendation from their physician. Before signing on with Medtronic IHS, the median wait time for outpatient surgery at NBHC was 81 days, almost double the recommended standard. “NBHC has already seen improvement in wait times since Medtronic came on board,” said Melissa Stark, a Process Improvement Facilitator with Horizon Health Network.

Neil Fraser

Neil Fraser

"Similar collaborations have had significant impact on patient access."

Work in the heart surgery department is just the first phase of the partnership; Medtronic IHS will also be involved in advising electrophysiology labs, cardiac catheterization labs, as well as the ECG department and the hospital’s Cardiac Outpatient Clinic.

"We are honored to partner with Horizon Health Network on this project," said Neil Fraser, president of Medtronic Canada. "Similar Medtronic collaborations in Europe and around the world have had significant impact on patient access, and we look forward to partnering with Horizon to help it achieve its patient-centered objectives in New Brunswick."

Patients Benefitting Across Regions

Medtronic IHS consults with more than 200 catheterization labs and more than 100 operating rooms around the world, and recently signed its first agreement to advise labs in the United States. The global team is made up of architects, biomedical engineers, six sigma consultants, cath lab managers, procurement leaders, healthcare supply chain experts and digital health experts.

Since partnering with Medtronic, Brampton Civic Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center in Canada has cut patient wait times in half and increased patient visits by a third.  Cardiovascular Hospital in Latin America has reduced staff overtime costs by 75 percent, while lowering cancelled appointments by 51 percent. In Europe, Imperial Hospital in London and Maastrict Hospital in the Netherlands have seen a dramatic increase in the percentage of procedures starting on time, and a significant decrease in the amount of time staff spends on administrative tasks.  (Learn more about Medtronic operations at Imperial Hospital and Maastrict Hospital.)

Partners Deliver on Commitment to Patients

The partnership between NBHC and Medtronic continues to gain momentum – with patients as the primary beneficiaries. "The New Brunswick Heart Centre has achieved excellent clinical outcomes through great research, and continuously implementing global best practices that contribute to patient health and satisfaction," said Dr. Vernon Paddock, Medical Director of the New Brunswick Heart Centre. "This project helps enhance patient access to care, and honor our commitment to deliver the highest quality cardiovascular care possible."

Omar Ishrak

Omar Ishrak

"This program is a great starting point."

“This program is a great starting point,” said Omar Ishrak, Chairman and CEO of Medtronic during a visit to New Brunswick. ”This is only the beginning of the journey. We have a long way ahead with lots of great results that we can achieve for the betterment of patients. Hopefully this is a model that we can apply to other institutions in other provinces. Not only in Canada, but around the world.”

The NBHC is the only heart clinic serving New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, seeing more than 17,000 patients and performing more than 5,500 interventional heart procedures every year.