“Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not.” – John C. Maxwell, author

While we haven’t quite turned the corner on the winter weather, spring is definitely in the air at Osler. And with the new season comes a renewed sense of focus as we look toward the future of health care in our region, driven by our Strategic Plan and the refreshed Clinical Priorities Plan (CPP).

A key part of our new CPP is to focus on expanding patient care in areas where we have high demand and to find new ways to better meet the needs of the patients in the communities we serve. In the coming months a number of new programs and services will open at Osler to improve access to specialized health care services, including:

  • Osler’s highly anticipated Musculoskeletal (MSK) Program and MSK Centre of Excellence, which will launch in late spring. Care will take place at both sites with surgeries for upper joints being housed at Etobicoke General while all lower joints will be addressed at Brampton Civic.
  • We will continue to build our Women’s Health Program by introducing a new Breast Program at Etobicoke General that features a surgical oncology procedure where mastectomy and reconstructive procedures are performed in the same surgery to minimize discomfort and recovery time for patients.
  • The newly-opened Post Acute Short Stay Unit (PASSU) at Etobicoke General uses a “home first” philosophy to help medically frail patients reach their peak functional ability so they can move to their discharge destination – whether it is to their home, into transitional care or to a long-term care facility.

These changes support innovative delivery models, improved quality and increased efficiency within our local health care system and beyond. Embracing bold, practice-leading ideas will help us achieve our Vision to provide patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

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“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle

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On April 1, hospitals across Ontario posted their annual Quality Improvement Plans (QIP) outlining the areas that a hospital will focus on to improve the quality of care that patients receive. A QIP fulfills the reporting requirements of the Excellent Care for All Act and includes specific improvement targets that hospitals can use to ensure overall accountability.

Osler’s 2014-15 QIP helps us to focus our efforts and communicate our improvement goals to the public. It’s one part of our overall quality plan and plays an important role in ensuring we deliver innovative, patient-inspired care in a safe environment.

While our targets are set high, we take continuous quality improvement seriously. Looking at the progress report for last year’s QIP, we’ve met more than 50 per cent of our targets while others remain a challenge. We will continue to work with our partners, staff and physicians to improve on those more indicators in the future. The final results of the 2012-13 QIP won’t be reported until data from Q4 has been calculated.

In the year ahead, we will focus on seven areas of opportunity that are most meaningful to patients and their families. The results of our improvement efforts this year will mean:

  • Asking for patient feedback and immediately sharing the results with clinical teams in order to better serve the needs of Osler patients;
  • Using technology and improving communication between clinicians to reduce the wait time for patients waiting to be transferred to inpatient beds from the emergency departments;
  • Reducing the risk of patients getting an infection; and,
  • Working with community health care partners to reduce avoidable emergency department visits and overnight hospital stays by providing access to more scheduled outpatient and virtual visits.

We’re already making strides to achieve these ambitious quality improvement goals. For example, sharing patient feedback in daily performance huddles on the units enables clinical staff to evaluate how they are doing and determine where they can make changes to improve patient care.

Building on our Strategic Plan, the QIP supports Osler’s continued efforts to improve our delivery of safe, accessible quality care to the communities we serve.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

The journey from dream to reality can be a long road but there are many opportunities to celebrate successes along the way. Last week we had a lot to celebrate at Osler, starting with two big announcements about the redevelopment of our hospital sites.

The Honourable Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care visited Etobicoke General Hospital to tour our renovated Day Surgery unit and to talk about the tremendous progress the hospital is making in its redevelopment journey – particularly on our plans to construct a new four-storey wing. Strong support of government partners is extremely important and demonstrates a commitment to working with us to press forward with our exciting redevelopment plans.

Osler is moving full steam ahead with renovation and expansion activities at Etobicoke General. We are working with Stantec Architecture to finalize details on a contract that will see us work with them on the planning and design of the new four-storey wing. Stantec Architecture will help us to create the plan for what the actual clinical space will look like and how it will function – as well as help to form the RFP that we will send to bid teams once we arrive at that phase of the project. Preparations for the next phase of the project are also underway to get the facility ready for construction of the new wing.

We also moved closer to breaking ground on the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness with the announcement of Plenary Health as the team chosen to build, design, finance and maintain the new facility. Following an extensive evaluation process led by Infrastructure Ontario (IO), Plenary Health came out on top and we will work with IO over the next two months to finalize contract details.

Our busy week wouldn’t be complete without a social media master, a tech expert and a student walking into the atrium at Brampton Civic Hospital. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but this really was the scene when we announced the winner of our Kiss My App mobile app contest during a star-studded award ceremony.

Atinderpal Singh Multani was named the winner of a $10,000 grand prize and unveiled his winning app – HosNav. The app’s approach to wayfinding, emergency department (ED) wait time checking and diagnostic imaging prep will help to transform the Osler hospital experience by providing better, more personalized service for patients and families.

Star power was provided by special guests Evan Hadfield, the man behind his father Chris Hadfield’s astronomical social media campaign, and Marc Saltzman, tech expert and host of Gear Guide, who were on hand to announce the winner.

It was an incredible event so check out our Facebook photo gallery if you missed it! More information about the HosNav app will be available in the time ahead as we prepare to make the app available in June.