Ready to break ground at Etobicoke General

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

Spring is a time of renewal and Osler’s redevelopment program is blooming.

On May 6, Osler and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) made an exciting announcement. Etobicoke Healthcare Partnership (EHP) signed a $330 million contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new four-storey wing at Etobicoke General Hospital. Shovels will be in the ground by the end of June.


What does this mean for the community? It means that Osler is on the way to adding approximately 250,000 square feet of space to the hospital so we can deliver the programs and services our community needs most, 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

As we plan for our official public ground breaking ceremony as part of our Annual General Meeting on June 22, we continue our Early Works project to prepare the existing building for the new addition. This work includes replacing existing chillers, upgrading the heating plant, and enhancing electrical and mechanical systems.

Construction has also begun on another building on the Etobicoke General site. The new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) will house a number of outpatient programs and services including a fracture clinic, diagnostic imaging and a satellite dialysis program. A number of changes have been made to parking and traffic flow to accommodate work that is already underway so please follow the detours and travel with care when visiting Etobicoke General.

Over at the Peel Memorial site, we’re on track to complete construction by October 2016. The facility will officially open to the public in early 2017 following installation equipment and furnishing, systems testing and staff orientation. In the meantime, you can keep track of what’s happening on site by viewing our webcam.

These truly are exciting times at Osler. We’re looking forward to growing with our community and will keep you posted on our progress.

Celebrating Osler’s health care heroes

There’s no I in TEAM. This old saying rings true for our clinical teams at Osler. We have an incredible roster of clinicians at Osler and this month is the time when we turn the spotlight on them to celebrate the tremendous work they do.

Our Docs Rock!


On May 1 we marked Ontario Doctor’s Day, which is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the 850 physicians who provide care at Osler. They are passionate about the work they do and make a real difference in the lives of patients and families in the community. From providing life-saving diagnoses, innovative care close to home and improving the overall health and wellbeing of those we serve, Osler’s physicians are truly going above and beyond to provide the best possible care to patients at our hospitals and in the community.

Last year, we created a Physician Wall of Distinction at each site to recognize the achievements of these valuable members of Osler’s team. You can view it at BCH on the wall outside of Auditorium by the Cafeteria and at EGH on the first floor across from Tim Hortons. Each year we will add the names of more amazing physicians who embody the spirit of Osler.

Our Nurses are Superstars!


We’re also celebrating our incredible nurses during National Nursing Week from May 9 to 13, with a number of activities and events that will take place at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General – including breakfasts and a showcase of nursing at Osler. As Osler’s highest member team by far, our nurses are often at the forefront of patient care and I believe that when measured against their nursing peers at other hospitals, they are second to none.

Nursing Week is a powerful reminder of their impact on the lives of patients and families, our communities and on all of us. By providing compassionate care in all situations, they truly are with patients every step of the way!

Three Cheers for our Volunteers!


In addition to the many achievements of our staff and physicians, Osler’s volunteers also play a vital role in shaping the health care experience at Osler and delivering on our Vision. We recently celebrated our incredible team of 1,000+ volunteers who go beyond every single day to support patient-inspired health care at Osler during National Volunteer Week.

Want to know how our volunteers make a difference? Check out a recent Facebook post featuring a stellar member of our Volunteer Feeding program on Facebook. Julie Weare’s story of why she’s giving back to her hospital is truly inspiring and reminds me of how fortunate we are to have the support of people like her.

Over the past few months we’ve celebrated the hard work of the many unsung heroes who deliver or help support patient-inspired care each day. Our clerical associates, children’s mental health workers, palliative and supportive care program, and medical laboratory teams are just a small sampling of staff that go beyond every day for our patients. We all appreciate the unwavering dedication of the physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers who provide patient care to all we serve. THANK YOU for all that you do!

Share the

We want to hear about your experiences with Osler’s stellar team of health care professionals. Give us a five-star rating on Facebook, like one of our posts or send a shout out to someone who made a difference in your care on Twitter using #DocsRock2016 or #NursesRule2016. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Our patients are our passion

It’s no secret that Osler is a busy place. But did you know that when we add up all of our patient visits, diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests, Osler can have more than 5.3 million patient interactions in a single year?

That staggering number is one of the many reasons that an exceptional patient experience is so important. We’ve done a lot over the past year to focus our energy on the patient experience – and it remains an important part of everything we do.


Our 2016-17 Annual Business Plan highlights some of the patient-focused initiatives we’ll be working on, such as:

  • Creating a regional Patient Experience and Patient/Family Engagement Plan to truly embed the voice of patients and families in care, organizational design and decision-making
  • Improving communication between patients and health care providers using technology
  • Continuing to collaborate with clinical partners to support the needs of more complex patients

Every encounter at Osler is part of the patient experience. Our dedicated team of staff, physicians and volunteers play a vital role in providing a positive patient experience every day – and for that I can’t thank you enough!

Speaking of the patient experience, Osler is making an impact through organ donation. April was Be a Donor month and over the past year we have continued to partner with Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) to help give hope to approximately 1,600 Ontarians waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

And, we are seeing significant success in promoting organ transplants thanks to the dedication and commitment of our team. With more than 20 organ donors in 2015, Osler had the highest number of organ donations in the Greater Toronto Area and the third highest overall number of donations in the province. We couldn’t achieve this without a dedicated multi-disciplinary clinical team specializing in a careful and respectful approach to organ and tissue donation.

We’re continuing the conversation about the importance of organ and tissue donation and encouraging Osler staff, physicians, volunteers and members of the community to register as donors. Learn the facts about organ donation in Canada and remember, you can help save up to eight lives.

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


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.


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


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.