Osler and Headwaters bring dialysis closer to home

Imagine needing to undergo a medical procedure three times a week in order to live. For more than 400 people undergoing dialysis in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), this is a reality.

Health care providers always want to achieve the best outcomes for patients and providing dialysis treatment closer to home is one way Osler is improving the patient experience. According to the Ontario Renal Network, patients who receive treatment closer to home reported a significantly better score on the dialysis stress portions of medical assessment surveys. More than 94 per cent of dialysis patients in our region travel less than 30 minutes for treatment.

This concept of providing “care closer to home” resulted in the Ontario Renal Network orchestrating a collaboration between Osler and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) bringing the Orangeville hospital under the umbrella of the Chronic Kidney Disease Program for the Central West LHIN. This new arrangement gives patients who come to Headwaters for dialysis treatment access to the same high quality kidney specialists at both Headwaters and Osler, closer to where they live. This partnership creates an environment that enables:

  • Better coordination of services and continuity of care across the region
  • Support for the best practice model for patients with kidney disease
  • Expanded access to wide range of clinical, education and support resources
  • A higher health-related quality of life for patients who travel shorter distances for treatment

In three short months we will be moving into the third year of our Strategic Plan. And as we do, Osler will continue to explore innovative opportunities with our partners that are mutually beneficial to patients in our region and help to bring patient-inspired care closer to home. Our recent partnership with the renal program at Headwaters is just one example of how this approach is having a profound impact on patients.

In the dead of winter, redevelopment at Osler is red hot

From the desk of Ann Ford, Joint VP, Facilities and Redevelopment

Winter is often a time when we hibernate but as the temperature drops, redevelopment activities are heating up across Osler and we are excited to share our progress with the community.

We are inviting you to a public meeting to learn more about our exciting renovation and expansion plans at Etobicoke General, including the construction of our new four-storey wing. This meeting will give us an opportunity to walk you through our progress to date and outline what’s ahead, talk about the expanded programs and services that will be available, as well as answer any questions about the future of Etobicoke General. I invite you to join us at this meeting:

Albion Heights Junior Middle School – Auditorium
45 Lynmont Road
Toronto, ON

Monday, January 26, 2015
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

This is an exciting time for change at Etobicoke General. We reached a significant milestone last fall when together with Infrastructure Ontario (IO), we issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify companies with the experience and ability to design, build, finance and maintain the new four-storey wing. The qualified teams will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) early this spring.

We are also undertaking a series of early works projects to prepare for the construction of the new wing. This includes upgrading the existing heating and cooling systems, integrating building systems connections for the new addition, and upgrading the parking area on the western hydro lands to create more spaces, improve traffic flow and enhance safety.

The Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness is beginning to take shape as the construction team has finished the excavation for the new building, poured the foundation and is working to complete the underground parking levels. With three cranes on site, the project is moving forward quickly and is expected to be completed in two years. Watch Peel Memorial grow by checking out our webcam.

Last month, we asked you to help us choose the colours and design elements for the interior. Your input has helped us choose the distinct colours and unique designs that will represent each area of the hospital in order to help patients and visitors easily find their way. We recently announced the winning elements – take a peek at what the interior of the new Peel Memorial will look like!

We can’t talk about Peel Memorial without also discussing Brampton Civic Hospital. When Peel Memorial opens, certain programs currently located at Brampton Civic will shift to the new facility. Our redevelopment team is working on master space planning to determine the best use for those spaces once the programs have moved.

Brampton Civic is also undergoing changes that will have a more immediate impact. We are in the process of expanding the hospital’s Cardiac Procedures Unit (CPU) to incorporate more recovery space that will create a more relaxing and healing atmosphere for patients who have undergone a cardiac procedure or treatment. The project is expected to be completed in June of 2015.

Osler staff shines during holiday surge

While many of us are returning to our regular schedule after the holiday season, the fast pace continues for Osler staff, physicians and volunteers. Osler is home to some of the best health care providers in the industry and the last two weeks reminded me just how incredible our team really is.

Between December 22 and January 4, more than 8,800 patients visited our emergency departments (ED) and more than 1,000 patients were admitted for inpatient care. This is a six per cent increase in patient visits over last year. We also saw an early spike in flu activity as 350 patients with confirmed cases of the flu came to our EDs for care during these same two weeks, which added to the holiday surge.

The surge continues with an increase in patient volumes caused by high demand and activity.

Brampton Civic Hospital has the busiest ED in the province – if not the country – and typically sees about 380 patients in the ED on any given day. Throughout December it averaged about 400 patients per day, with a peak of 450 patients on December 26. The ED at Etobicoke General Hospital saw unprecedented level of activity as more than 260 patients came to us for care on December 28.

Osler staff, physicians and volunteers continue to do a tremendous job of providing patient-inspired health care to all patients and their families during this busy time. Spending the holidays supporting the health care needs of the community is a true testament to the exceptional people that make Osler such an incredible place.

We expected to see higher than average patient volumes over the holidays and planned accordingly by temporarily moving outpatient clinics to increase the inpatient capacity on the units, placing medical patients on surgical units and increasing our staffing. Much of our original surge plan remains in place as we continue to experience higher-than-normal patient volumes.

As we continue to respond to the increased patient activity, we are asking the community to do its part. We’ve posted some helpful tips and information to Osler’s website and Facebook page to help you assess your health care options to receive the right care, in the right place, by the right health care provider.

Please continue to visit our website, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to get the latest information about our initiatives and ongoing service improvements efforts across Osler.