You have the power to make a difference

What does it take to build a healthy community?

It takes dedicated health care providers, state-of-the-art facilities, and engaged citizens who are passionate about their home. It also takes money.

Over the past five years we’ve focused on ambitious redevelopment projects to expand care in our region. We have the opportunity to open a brand new health care facility to meet the changing needs of the Brampton community – but we can’t do it alone.

The Government of Ontario is contributing 90 per cent of the funding to build the new Peel Memorial but there is a “local share” portion of the project that must be raised by Osler and the community.

Osler is also responsible for funding 100 per cent of the equipment costs of the new facility. That is why Osler Foundation recently launched a new campaign with the goal of raising $100 million to complete and equip Peel Memorial, support the expansion of Etobicoke General and enhance services at Brampton Civic.

Our powerful new You Have the Power campaign tells the stories of real patients who have received care at Osler hospitals who will be able to receive the same services at the new Peel Memorial. Soon, you will begin to see flags flying on lamp posts and banners spanning bridges to create awareness around our goal to raise $30 million to complete the new Peel Memorial.

Check out Osler Foundation’s new campaign website to learn more about how you can do your part to build a healthy community.

Even though it hasn’t felt like spring, we welcomed it with open arms at our annual Holi Gala – the Festival of Colours on April 1. We aren’t fooling anyone when we say the event was a huge success!

Guests celebrated in colourful style, enjoying gourmet foods, as well as an array of entertainment and fun in celebration of the renewal of springtime. Headline performer Harbhajan Mann had the sold out crowd of 800 on their feet and dancing to some of his biggest hits.

The event raised over $277,000, which was matched by Orlando Corporation’s $15 Million Matching Challenge, resulting in a $554,000 contribution to Osler’s redevelopment initiatives at Brampton Civic, Etobicoke General and the new Peel Memorial. If you missed the excitement, check out our photo gallery from the event.

Our new campaign and record-setting signature events show us that when a community rallies around a worthy cause, incredible things can happen.

You have the power to build a healthy community.

Keeping it 100 with our ABP and QIP

I’ve been hearing the phrase “Keep it 100” a lot lately. It’s an expression that embodies what is means to stay true to your values. We use two important tools to help keep Osler 100: our Annual Business Plan (ABP) and Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).

This year we created our first-ever joint ABP with our partners at the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters). Over the past two years we’ve been working together to improve the delivery of health care across the Central West region and collaborating on our ABP is the next natural step in our journey.

Our ABP allows us to reflect on our achievements of the past 12 months and outlines where we will focus our energy in the coming year. We’ve aligned our ABP to a set of five common pillars – People, Service Quality, Clinical Quality, Efficiency and Growth – that will guide our work so each organization can achieve their individual strategic and clinical objectives to bring positive change to health care in our region.

The list of our achievements is extensive, so here’s a snapshot of highlights from the past year:

  • We’re better supporting the needs of patients and families through our new Emergency Department Patient Experience Program.
  • We’re part of a new regional Hospital to Home program that provides better support to patients as they return home after discharge.
  • We reached construction milestones by “topping off” at Peel Memorial, bringing us closer to opening our doors in 2017, and naming the team that will build Etobicoke General’s new wing.
  • We brought world-class care closer to home by performing our first-ever endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) surgery as part Osler’s innovative Vascular and Endovascular Program.
  • We lead our first successful mission to India in search of clinical partnerships as part of our Global Health Program.

For the second year in a row, we created a joint QIP with our partners at the Central West CCAC and Headwaters. This plan harmonizes our efforts to improve the quality of care across local and provincial health care systems. Osler staff and physicians have worked incredibly hard over the past year to achieve some excellent results:

  • We exceeded our individual Alternate Level of Care (ALC) targets, which helped the Central West LHIN achieve the lowest ALC rate in Ontario – 5.6 per cent compared to the provincial rate of 14.75 per cent.
  • We reduced our readmission rates to less than 30 days and maintain a C. Difficile rate of 0.16 per 1000 patients, which is below the target of 0.30 set by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
  • We worked closely with patients and families to shape the care experience through advisory councils, satisfaction surveys throughout the health care journey and thousands of post-discharge phone calls through our regional call centre.

I’m extremely proud of all that we have achieved over the past year and am looking forward to putting the wheels in motion on our new ABP and QIP. I know that at this time next year we’ll have even more great news to share.

Moving closer to a new Etobicoke General

This week’s guest blogger is Ann Ford, Joint VP, Facilities and Redevelopment

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Excitement is starting to build at Etobicoke General as Osler is one step closer to breaking ground on the new four-storey wing. Last week, Osler and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) announced that Etobicoke Healthcare Partnership (EHP) has been chosen to design, build, finance and maintain the hospital’s new four-storey wing.

Etobicoke General, which originally opened in 1972, is undergoing significant revitalization to meet the growing demands of its community. The new four-storey wing will add approximately 250,000 square feet of space to the hospital and house the services most urgently needed by the community it serves including:

  • A larger, state-of-the-art emergency department
  • Cardiac Care and Intensive Care units
  • A maternal newborn unit with birthing suites and a specialized nursery
  • A new ambulatory procedures unit
  • Cardiorespiratory and neurodiagnostic services

Over the next two months, Osler will work with IO to finalize contract details with EHP and construction is expected to begin shortly after the contract is finalized. In the meantime, we’re continuing our Early Works project to prepare the 43-year old building and systems for the new addition. This work includes replacing existing chillers, upgrading the heating plant, and enhancing electrical and mechanical systems.

We’re also getting ready to start construction on the new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) at Etobicoke General. This building will house a number of outpatient programs/services, including a fracture clinic, diagnostic imaging, and a satellite dialysis program. Construction on the new building is expected to begin this spring. Stay tuned for exciting announcements coming soon.

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We’re on track to complete construction of Peel Memorial by October 2016. It will then take approximately two to three months to install and set up equipment and furnishings, make sure all systems are working, and orient staff to the new workplace. The new facility will open its doors to the community in early 2017. Check out the daily progress at the Peel Memorial site by viewing our webcam.

For more information about our redevelopment program, visit the Osler website.

Mobilizing staff to move patients through the ED

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Over the years I’ve written a lot about our annual holiday surge, when we typically see an increase in patient visits over the festive season. But higher patient volumes are quickly becoming the new normal.

Over the last six weeks, many hospitals across the Greater Toronto Area, including Osler, have seen higher than normal patient visits to the ED. Dr. Naveed Mohammad, Osler’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, recently told the Brampton Guardian, “We’re seeing record numbers. [On March 14], we saw 500 patients in 24 hours.”

The recent surge in patient volumes are the result of many factors: increased flu activity, reduced hours at walk-in clinics due to vacations and a shortage of in-patient mental health resources in the community. Even though we’ve made improvements to the ED to help increase the flow of patients and communication, we’re still feeling the pressure and have responded with a new approach called Code Gridlock.

Here’s how it works. Osler uses a stoplight system to monitor patient flow conditions to determine if the demand exceeds our ability to provide timely service – green (normal), yellow (urgent) and red (critical/gridlock). Each colour triggers a different response and when we surpass all three, and have more than 30 patients waiting for admission in the ED with less than 10 patients confirmed for discharge, we call Code Gridlock.

We know that high patient volumes don’t just effect the Emergency Department (ED), the impacts are felt hospital wide. Code Gridlock mobilizes the entire hospital to help reduce the number of patients waiting in the ED for admission to an inpatient unit.

Osler treats Code Gridlock like any other emergency situation and sets up a command centre to ensure our response is consistent and well organized. The command team directs our internal teams and engages with our partners at the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) to help move patients through the local system more efficiently to reduce pressure in Osler hospitals. Some measures include:

  • Integrated Care Coordinators at Etobicoke General attend rounds to help identify non-critical patients that can be discharged with CCAC services;
  • Additional Care Coordinators can be brought in at Brampton Civic to participate in family meetings so hospital staff can support more discharges; and,
  • Some patients will be moved a hospital, closest to their home, that can provide an appropriate level of care, such as Headwaters.

Code Gridlock, along with numerous other preventative measures, is helping to keep our patients safe and ensure access to care during these extra busy times.

Safety tips for a safe and healthy March Break

This week’s guest blog is from Joanne Flewwelling, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services, and Chief Nursing Executive

At this time last year, we were locked in a deep freeze that we never thought would end. Even though this winter has been much kinder to us, any long stretch of cold weather makes me think of getting away for a few days to rest and recharge.

airplane

March Break is just around the corner. Whether you’re headed south for a tropical getaway or spending a few days on the slopes, our Live Well with Osler series has you covered. Find out the five things you should think about before travelling that can keep you safe and healthy during your trip.

One of the most important things to do before travelling anywhere is to make sure that vaccinations for you and your family members are up-to-date. This also includes the flu vaccine.

Compared to last year, we’ve had a pretty mild flu season mainly due to warmer temperatures and the vaccine being a good match to the virus. But flu season is far from over and we’re starting to see more flu activity at Osler and across the Central West region.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, vaccination is a personal choice and there are many reasons why I choose to get vaccinated every year. There are just as many reasons why others choose not to get vaccinated but the data speaks for itself. Receiving the flu vaccine helps to:

  • Eliminate 30,000 visits to the emergency department;
  • Avoid 1,000 hospitalizations; and,
  • Prevent 300 deaths in Ontario.

The best way to prevent getting and spreading the flu is to get vaccinated. I encourage you to do your part in supporting a healthy community at work, at home and beyond by getting vaccinated against the flu.

There are many ways for you to get vaccinated against the flu. Make an appointment to see your family doctor or visit your pharmacist at participating a pharmacy (like Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall) while your stocking your first aid kit.

Bon voyage!

Diversity is in our DNA – and it shows

Once again, I’m thrilled to announce that Osler has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers! This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve been recognized for our unwavering commitment to patient-inspired health care and creating an environment that truly supports dignity and equity for all.

There are many reasons why we are recognized year after year:

  • The entire Osler community – especially our physicians, staff and volunteers including our Board – are committed to creating an environment that allows us to better promote, understand and respect equity in the workplace.
  • Our clearly defined Health Equity Strategy is our roadmap to enhancing diversity and inclusion through improved organization processes that measure and support diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Our language and culturally-appropriate health education in the community and unique clinical and community partnerships are addressing the needs of a diverse and vulnerable patient population.
  • Our comprehensive health equity education sessions and resources are helping to empower staff to engage with issues of equity and inclusion.
  • Our diversity council and advisory groups are creating an environment where positive experiences for patients and staff are common place.

I am very proud of our team at Osler and their tremendous dedication to creating an inclusive workplace for each other and the community we serve.

We’ve also taken our approach to diversity to another level with our Global Health Program. In April 2015, a small team from Osler embarked on an exploratory mission to Punjab, India to investigate opportunities to make an impact abroad and bring back learnings to support our local community.

The success of this initial trip has inspired a second tour so we can work collaboratively with three health care partners to provide education and training to clinicians focused on Emergency Services and Mental Health and Addictions. Along with delivering services on the ground, the Osler team will also learn about technology applications and treating large volumes of patients.

A clinical team of physicians, nurses and social workers with experience in the Emergency Services and Mental Health and Addictions fields will travel to India in April. I can’t wait to share their experience with you!

How Central West CCAC, Headwaters and Osler are taking patients from Hospital to Home

When patients return home from the hospital, they sometimes need a little bit of extra support. Osler is working with its partners at the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) – as well as the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and the Central West Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN) – to meet this need with Hospital to Home (H2H).

H2H is an innovative new model of care that is helping to improve clinical handoffs and information sharing when patients leave hospital and re-enter the community. This means that patients continue to receive short-term nursing care from the same team after they return home. H2H will initially support patients with cellulitis and urinary tract infections requiring short-term nursing interventions, later expanding to support those with more complex needs.

Last week, H2H launched at Brampton Civic Hospital. The program originally launched at Etobicoke General Hospital in December and then at Headwaters in January.

Once fully implemented, H2H will help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, shorten the length of stay for admitted patients, provide greater continuity of care and ultimately, enhance the patient experience for those we serve.

As one of six integrated programs sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s new bundled funding model, H2H is an excellent example of how different organizations from across the continuum of care can work together to improve access to care that truly benefits patients. And it’s proving to be effective. Since November 2015, more than 135 patients have been enrolled in the program and dedicated H2H nurses have completed over 750 nursing visits in the community.

With each phase of the H2H rollout, the project team gathered feedback from staff and patients to help shape the program even further. Feedback to date has been very positive. Here’s what some H2H patients had to say:

  • I received outstanding care!”
  • My experience was fantastic. Each Nurse was extremely knowledgeable and they arrived in the timeframe as promised.”
  • “I really appreciate this program. You took the time to talk with my wife and comfort her when I did not know what to say to make her feel better.”
  • “You hired the best nurses for the job. They have all been wonderful!

This kind of patient experience is what we strive to achieve. That we are hearing such overwhelmingly positive feedback so early in the life of the program is a wonderful testament to the team’s commitment to providing patient-inspired care!