Flavia Mandic - Clinical Care Analyst

By Evan Duxbury

How did you end up where you are now?

I came to Vancouver in 1997 for an international nursing conference. I ended up moving here in 2000 from Brazil and started working for PHC in 2001 in orthopedics, but it wasn’t a great fit for me. After 6 months I moved to the surgical floor, took the Operating Room course in 2003 and spent 11 years in the OR. I was in charge of the OB/Gyn and I loved it. Eventually though, the scheduling change such that I would be working only evenings. This was going to be too difficult on my family, so when I came across a position last year working with the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) I jumped at the opportunity.

What is NSQIP?

NSQIP is an American program which several hospitals from BC joined 3 years ago. It is provides a database from over 600 hospitals across North America which allows us to compare SPH’s and MSJ’s operating rooms to those of similarly sized hospitals who do similar procedures with similar patients.

What is your role here at PHC?

As a Clinical Care Analyst, I am part of Administrative Decision Support under THINK PHC. Every week, my colleague and I review 40 charts of surgery patients from SPH and 40 from MSJ. We follow up for 30 days to track and monitor: who needed to be readmitted? Has anybody died? What kind of complications arose? Since PHC joined NSQIP, our hospitals have been “exemplary” for pneumonia and unplanned intubation but it was immediately clear that we had work to do on urinary infections and surgical site infections. I’m part of the committee working to improve these numbers and it’s been rewarding to see the gains we’ve made.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the team. THINK PHC is amazing and Cathy Helliwell is a great manager. The role offers a lot of freedom to implement new ideas. When you’re working shifts and working with patients you’re very restricted, but in my new job I can organize my day however I like, which I think allows me to get more done.

What kind of new ideas have you implemented?

Throughout health care, there is a lag when it comes to updating front line staff about data and improvement projects. When I worked on the unit, nobody really knew what NSQIP was or where the numbers came from. Most of our patients would tell us, “nobody called me about post-op complications.” This is because we only call 20% of patients, but to staff it’s very confusing and frustrating not to understand the whole picture.

So, my colleague and I have been delivering NSQIP presentations to teach the staff about the program and how to read the reports and statistics. We’ve received a lot of questions and I think it has been very well received. I think PHC has an opportunity to include front line staff in more decision making and that educating them about NSQIP and the role of THINK PHC makes them feel less imposed upon.

Do you see yourself staying on the administration side of things or going back to the clinical setting?

I’m not sure, but I do plan to take a Masters of Health Care Leadership from Royal Roads starting this year. It opens a lot of doors to positions on the administrative side of health care.

Do you have any words of wisdom for somebody looking to transition from the clinical setting?

For anybody looking at making a change from being a front line nurse I’d want them to know that even though you aren’t working with patients at the bed side you can still play an important role in their care.

However, there is no patient interaction in my role, and I definitely miss it. You might find that sitting in front of a computer gets a little lonely. I’ve never done so much sitting in my life.

Is there anything you want to add that I’ve missed?

The OR staff is amazing. When we need surgery we want our colleagues to do it. I’ve had surgery at SPH so I can speak from experience that being able to trust your life to the people you work with makes for a very special work environment. 

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