susan krautter
Written by Shannon Henderson, Communications and Public Affairs

Susan Krautter, team lead, Home Health, Mission Community Health Centre, was a key player in bringing the medication management and assessment pathway to Mission.


Saying no to big opportunities is just not Susan’s style. She was one of the first people in Canada to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McGill University. Upon graduation in 1966, Susan started her career in the Victorian Order of Nurses, nursing clients in their homes. 

She knew from the beginning that she wanted to be at the bedside, or at least supporting those who were at the bedside. Learning about the client as a whole person was always her motivation. 

“Out of the learning from one [client], you practice differently for the next. You expand your life understanding through seeing the family situation,” says Susan. “[It] could be wound care or talking through a complaint, you find out what their needs are through your ability to listen.”

After honing her clinical skills in the British health care system, Susan came back to Vancouver and worked in surgery, critical care, palliative care and pain management, before landing in community care with Fraser Health in 1988. She has worked as a home care nurse, clinical resource nurse, home care nursing supervisor and team leader in various communities. 

During the past 30 years, she has strived for person-centered care in every aspect of her career. As a home care nursing supervisor in Burnaby, Susan supported the implementation of a home intravenous (IV) program and participated in the integration of admissions into Burnaby Home Health, thereby streamlining the services of all the nurses, rehabilitation professionals and home support staff. 

Susan always saw the value in bringing together acute and community teams in the name of person-centred care. She is an expert people-connector who works tirelessly to bring a vast array of health care professionals including family practitioners, pharmacists, client care coordinators, home support agencies and acute care managers, to the table to work together for the good of the client – what a community-based health care team should be.

Her ability to bring people together has been key to many of her successes over the years, including the introduction of a medication assessment and administration pathway (MAAP) in Mission – a project she says has been her most significant achievement to-date. 

The MAAP streamlined communication about home care plans among doctors, nurses, pharmacists, home support agencies, families and the client. This has allowed care team members to more easily pinpoint areas of a client’s medication plan that could be simplified.

As part of the program, Susan engaged pharmacists to create a consistent way to package and deliver medication. She also developed a protocol so that once a nurse had reviewed a client’s situation, they could confidently put a care plan in place and entrust the community health worker to safely administer the client’s medication. 

Overall, the program has improved the way care providers plan and administer medication and made it easier for clients who may have typically had difficulty managing their medications at home. 

In 2013, the Mission Community Health Centre was opened. Susan was a key player in designing a way to coordinate multiple teams – public and mental health, seniors and diabetes clinics and other services under one roof.

This had never been done before in Fraser Health. Many of the team members had never worked together before, let alone in the same space. Some serious team building was required, and Susan naturally possessed the skills needed for the task: active listening, respect, creative thinking and a boundless amount of energy.

“I’ve learned more from staff than I’ve ever taught them,” Susan says. “I focus on being present to what staff want for themselves both personally and in their career development, then create the conditions for them to reach their full potential.”

 

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