Why we <3 our hospitals

Osler hospitals provide incredible care to members of the Brampton, Etobicoke and surrounding communities. Our staff, physicians and volunteers are passionate about providing patient-inspired care and are generous supporters of Osler Foundation.

In June, we learned that the Employee Giving Committee pledged $1 million to Osler Foundation on behalf of Osler staff in support of redevelopment initiatives at our three hospital sites. This pledge will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Orlando Corporation’s $15 Million Matching Challenge, which means that $2 million will be raised to support exceptional patient care at Osler!

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If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we have made great progress in renewing and expanding our facilities. As we continue to grow, we will need the support of the entire Osler community.

At the recent “topping off” celebration at Peel Memorial, Osler Foundation received the single largest donation to support the new facility to date. Brampton businessman Sajjad Ebrahim and his family announced a gift of $2.5 million, which will also be matched by Orlando Corporation.

There are hundreds of reasons why we love our hospitals, and there are just as many reasons why you should too. For example:

  • We’re providing access to health care programs and services that are most needed in the community.
  • We’re creating healing spaces for those we serve through our redevelopment efforts at all of our hospital sites.
  • We’re collaborating with our community health care partners in bold, new ways to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, and from the right provider.

Donations to Osler don’t just support redevelopment projects. They enable us to acquire equipment and technology that help to deliver exceptional patient care, like our new humanoid robot named MEDiTM that will soon be used to comfort young patients at Osler hospitals.

There are many ways to get involved and show your support for Osler hospitals. In addition to the exciting summer events happening in the community, we announced the star-studded lineup that includes Blue Rodeo and Natalie MacMaster for our One Night. Two Shows. Three Hospitals. Benefit Concert on November 21. It’s my pleasure to attend this event each year and it is definitely one event that you won’t want to miss!

Do you support Osler Foundation? Tell us why you <3 Osler hospitals in the comments.

Celebrating a Year of Innovation and Partnership

Do you remember what you were doing this time last year? At Osler, we were embarking on a journey with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) that would change the way health care is delivered in our region.

Together, we announced an innovative cross-sector partnership that joined our non-clinical (administrative or ‘back-office’) functions to improve our collective ability to meet the health care needs of our communities. So far, we’ve worked hard to build solid foundations that will make impact the way health care is delivered in our region.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve done this year:

Planning for the Future, Together

For the first time, we joined forces to develop our Annual Business Plans (ABP) and Quality Improvement Plans (QIP). By aligning our goals and monitoring them with a set of common metrics this will enable us to collectively improve health care quality and safety while having a positive, far-reaching impact on the patient experience across the Central West region.

We also worked together to showcase our individual and collective achievements from the past year in our Annual Reports in a fresh, dynamic way.

Leading the Way Forward

The old adage “two heads are better than one” certainly applies to the partnership. But for us, five heads are better than two. By creating a Joint Non-Clinical Executive Team, we pooled the collective resources and experience of all three organizations. This innovative approach to leadership has energized our senior teams and has created an environment that fosters collaboration and cooperation.

Weathering the Seasonal Surge

There’s nothing that tests the strength of a relationship better than a challenge. We put our partnership to the test as we collectively planned for and responded to a large patient surge during an exceptionally busy holiday season that was complicated by an early spike in flu activity. In a two week period, Osler saw a more than 8,800 patients visit our emergency departments (ED), admitted more than 1,000 patients for acute care and confirmed 350 flu cases.

Needless to say, this was a challenge but by working together we were able to effectively manage the flow of patients by providing excellent care in our hospitals as well as in the community.

Over the past year we saw first hand how working together can yield incredible results and spark new ideas about how we can improve the patient experience. We will share more achievements as our relationship matures over the months and years ahead. It is an exciting time for health care in the Central West region and I’m confident that the best is yet to come!

How Osler is working with the LHIN

There are many acronyms in health care. While medical dramas on TV have made many of these terms common place – like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ED (emergency department) – there are some that are a bit more unfamiliar.

One of the terms we often use around Osler is LHIN, which stands for Local Health Integration Network. It’s a long name, but what does it mean?

The LHIN system is unique to Ontario and was created so health care spending decisions could be made by local people and money could be distributed in a way that better reflects local needs of regions across the province.

Across Ontario, there are 14 LHINs that bring health care decision-making to the regional level. Everything from the planning, coordinating, integrating and funding of local health care services is managed by individual LHINs across the province. Each LHIN is overseen by a provincially-appointed Board of Directors to ensure that they remain accountable.

Osler is located in the Central West LHIN and we work closely with the LHIN to deliver programs and services that make a difference in the lives of patients. The LHIN also works closely with health care providers in the community. This means that if you’ve received care at Osler, moved a loved one into a long-term care facility, accessed community support services or visited a community health centre – you have touched part of the LHIN.

Here are just a few examples of how Osler and the LHIN are working together to meet the needs of patients:

  • Patients with COPD and Heart Failure are now able to manage their health from home through Telehomecare
  • Diversity is in our DNA and Osler is part of the LHIN’s Diversity and Equity Core Action Group to help ensure all patients receive fair and equitable access to health care
  • We’re calling for better integrated care across the community through Telephone Town Hall meetings with our regional partners
  • Through the connectingGTA Program, Osler clinicians can access the health information they need to make care decisions using a secure regional electronic health record system

This is just the tip of the iceberg. As the health care needs of the communities we serve evolve, we will continue to work with our partners at the LHIN to improve access to services and find ways for health service providers to improve the quality of care.

How Osler is supporting new moms and turning babies into superheroes

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

If you ask a mother what it’s like to have a baby, she will likely tell you that it’s unlike anything she’s ever experienced. It’s a time filled with joy, amazement and anxiety about caring for a brand new life. I remember feeling a mix of excitement and nervousness when I was expecting my own children.

There is so much for expectant moms to think about as they prepare for their journey toward parenthood, which is why we’ve created two videos to help new moms and their families know what to expect when they come to our hospitals.

These helpful online tours of Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General enable families to see our labour and delivery unit as well as be introduced to some of the dedicated members of staff and physicians who work on our units. Get a preview of our services, including:

  • Comfortable suites where mothers will give birth;
  • The postpartum area where they will spend time with their little one before going home; and,
  • Osler’s neonatal intensive care unit where babies who require special care might need to stay.

Osler serves a community with the youngest population and highest birth rate in Ontario. Our Labour and Delivery Program is one of the largest in the Greater Toronto Area, with nearly 7,500 babies being delivered each year. Making sure that our patients and their families have convenient access to the information they need about our hospitals is an important part of the care we provide.

We have also partnered with Peel Public Health to provide new and expectant mothers who plan to have their babies at Osler hospitals, access to a free online education program that helps women and their families prepare for labour, childbirth and caring for a new baby.

At Osler, our smallest patients have the unique opportunity to help save lives as new moms are able to donate their babies’ umbilical cord blood at Brampton Civic for stem cell treatments. Last month, Canadian Blood Services held a special event at Brampton Civic to recognize Osler’s work in serving as a cord blood collection site and celebrate the official implementation of the National Public Cord Blood Bank.

In 2014, Osler began collecting umbilical cord blood that will be available to help treat patients requiring stem cell transplants in Canada and around the world. As one of only five hospitals – and the only community hospital – chosen as a collection site, we’ve collected nearly 1,000 cord blood donations in the last year!

These enhancements to our Labour and Delivery Program are helping Osler provide patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

We’ve reached new heights at Peel Memorial – literally!

This week we celebrated ‘Topping off’ at the Peel Memorial site, a momentous milestone in any construction project and certainly a significant and exciting one for Osler and its community.

Topping off is recognized when the full height of the building is reached and the ‘ceremony’ is an age-old tradition that dates back to the days of the Vikings from Scandinavia, prominently featuring an evergreen tree. While it may sound strange, this meaningful custom is a goodwill gesture for the safe completion of construction and is said to ‘bring life into the building’. It is seen as a positive omen to all those involved in its construction.

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During Thursday’s event, we also had an opportunity to celebrate a $2.5 million donation – a gift to Osler Foundation from Mr. Sajjad Ebrahim and family. This is the single, largest gift from a family to health care in Brampton to date. The Ebrahim family’s gift will be matched by Orlando Corporation’s $15M Matching Challenge, resulting in $5M for Peel Memorial. We are grateful for this generous gift that will help ensure the community continues to have access to great health care, close to home.

We’re also reaching new milestones at Etobicoke General. To prepare the existing building for expansion, we’re set to begin a series of Early Works projects to upgrade many of our mechanical systems later this summer. In the meantime, we’re wrapping up the parking upgrades to the east of the building as we continue the design consultation process with the three teams selected to bid on constructing the new four-storey wing.

There is so much to look forward to as we work to change the face of Osler and positively impact the delivery of health care in the communities we serve. We will keep you up to date with each new milestone!

First Impressions: What We Learned in India

This week’s guest blog is from Dr. Naveed Mohammad, VP Medical Affairs and Co-Lead of Osler’s Global Health Program

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be part of a five-member clinical team that travelled to Punjab, India as part of Osler’s Global Health Program. During the 12 days we were on the ground, we were able to see how health care is delivered first hand.

The health care system in India is one of contrasts, where state-of-the-art, for-profit hospitals exist alongside charitable hospitals and access to care is largely based on what patients can afford. Amid this disparity we couldn’t deny the obvious common thread: regardless of where treatment was provided – be it in a high-tech hospital at the centre of a bustling city or a small clinic in a rural village – the patient is always at the heart of their care.

Families are part of the care team and from admission to discharge, they are always present to support the comfort needs of patients. Patient rooms are often equipped with a bed for the patient and a cot for a family member.  At Osler, we are already exploring ways we can enhance the patient experience through family presence initiatives.

Patient care is a family affair – Families are part of the care team and from admission to discharge, they are always present to support the comfort needs of patients. Patient rooms are often equipped with a bed for the patient and a cot for a family member. At Osler, we are already exploring ways we can enhance the patient experience through family presence initiatives.

Improving the patient experience - It’s natural for patients to have a lot of questions and concerns when navigating the health care system. All of the hospitals we visited in India had help desks to assist patients as they navigate the facility. At one hospital, once a patient sees a specialist, they had a patient counsellor who could provide further information about their care and answer follow-up questions.  We were inspired by this approach to care and came away with new ideas for how we can implement similar programs in some of our busiest departments. Osler is already setting the stage to launch our own patient concierge program in the ED.

Improving the patient experience – It’s natural for patients to have a lot of questions and concerns when navigating the health care system. All of the hospitals we visited in India had help desks to assist patients as they navigate the facility. At one hospital, once a patient sees a specialist, they had a patient counsellor who could provide further information about their care and answer follow-up questions. We were inspired by this approach to care and came away with new ideas for how we can implement similar programs in some of our busiest departments. Osler is already setting the stage to launch our own patient concierge program in the ED.

Revolving door approach to outpatient care -  Where do you go when you need a referral to a specialist? In Canada, our health care journey begins with our family physician. The weak primary care system in India has resulted in a stronger outpatient department (OPD) model, which also reduces the demand on their emergency department services.  Many of these interactions happen on an outpatient basis. Facilities are designed so patients can receive same-day care from a specialist and consult with multiple specialists providers under the same roof on the same day. This speedy approach to care virtually eliminates wait times that are so common in Canada.

Revolving door approach to outpatient care – Where do you go when you need a referral to a specialist? In Canada, our health care journey begins with our family physician. The weak primary care system in India has resulted in a stronger outpatient department (OPD) model, which also reduces the demand on their emergency department services. Many of these interactions happen on an outpatient basis. Facilities are designed so patients can receive same-day care from a specialist and consult with multiple specialists providers under the same roof on the same day. This speedy approach to care virtually eliminates wait times that are so common in Canada.

Mission accomplished

We travelled to India in search of partnership opportunities, and we found them. After a careful review Osler has chosen to work with two hospitals in the Ludhiana district where we will focus on service delivery, training/education and research, as well as a multi-national hospital chain on research.

  • Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Ayurvedic Medical College & Hospital is a charitable hospital that serves a rural population while acting as a teaching centre for nursing students from 25 neighbouring villages. Partnering with this organization will enable us to assist with the development of health care infrastructure in this community through screening, education and outreach camps and sharing our best practices.
  • Dayanand Medical College & Hospital is a recognized health care leader in Punjab and tertiary care teaching hospital. Partnering with this organization will provide us with a unique opportunity to potentially support training in emergency medicine, critical care and psychiatry and to research the epidemiology of chronic disease in Punjab and within our local Central West region. There is also potential to provide continuity of care and share medical records for Osler patients travelling to this part of India.
  • Apollo Hospitals is an internationally accredited organization with over 50 hospitals across India. Partnering with this organization will provide us an opportunity to conduct research to understand various aspects of health and wellness, and disease progression and treatment for individuals of South Asian descent. There is also an opportunity to provide continuity of care and share medical records for Osler patients travelling to India.

Right now, we’re working to finalize Memorandums of Understanding with each hospital to define the specific initiatives Osler will support. A funding structure is also being developed with Osler Foundation to engage our community. Once these pieces are in place, the team will host a follow-up information session in the fall to provide details of our first official mission slated for early 2016 and how staff can apply.

These are exciting times at Osler and I look forward to the next phase of our Global Health Program!

Sharing our expertise at the Canada-India Healthcare Summit

Ever since we sent a clinical team to India in search of opportunities to contribute to the homelands of our local citizens and gather valuable insights on innovative practices that can be used to better meet the needs of our community, Global Health has been a hot topic at Osler.

According to data collected during the 2011 Census, more than 62 per cent of recent immigrants to Brampton and 42 per cent of immigrants to north Etobicoke are from India. This statistic reflects the importance of collaborating with international experts as we work to improve health care for the Indian community in our region, and beyond.

We’re always looking for opportunities to create impact beyond our immediate community through education and innovation. At the recent two-day Canada-India Healthcare Summit, representatives from Osler did just that as they spoke about how we are meeting challenges in our community and how our solutions can help residents in India.

  • Ron Heslegrave, Chief of Research, focused on how Osler is building a strategic research program by harnessing information that our unique community and high patient volumes offer, in order to drive health care innovation at Osler and across Ontario.
  • Naheed Dosani, Lead Palliative Care Physician at Brampton Civic, addressed the social determinants of health and their impact on palliative care delivery in global health settings while providing an overview of current research and novel interventions that address poverty, education and housing for patients with serious life-threatening illnesses.
  • Jane deLacy, Executive Director, Clinical Programs, spoke about how Telehomecare and digital health is helping Osler meet the needs of a growing population, which requires ongoing support to manage chronic diseases. Digital health is viewed a as a potential solution to improving access to health care in rural India.

As the largest health care provider in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), there are many opportunities for Osler to make a difference at home and abroad. We look forward to exploring many exciting opportunities in the future.