The Power of Three

There is a principle called the “rule of three” that authors and film-makers often use because it just makes things seem funnier, more satisfying, and more effective than other numbers do. Think of the Three Musketeers or Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I believe there is strength in numbers, which is one reason partnership has become a central focus at Osler.

Last summer, we made a ground breaking announcement that will change the way health care is delivered in the Central West region for the better. Osler joined forces with our partners at Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) and the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CW CCAC) to integrate our non-clinical functions across all three organizations.

Through this partnership we’re putting patients and families first by finding new and better ways of working together to create an integrated, patient-centric health care system that is easier for people to access, understand, and navigate.

Over the coming year, we will focus on a number of initiatives that will help to link care received in the community and acute health care services provided in a hospital setting. Here are three examples of how we will make it a reality:

Put patients at the centre of their care

By listening to patients we understand that satisfaction is largely based on their experience of how service is delivered, rather than the technical aspects of the medical care they receive. Our goal is to put patients in the Central West region first by providing better care and creating a seamless experience for them as they move throughout the health care system.

To do this, we’re collectively hiring a Chief Patient Experience Officer (CPEO) to work with all three organizations to ensure the patient is at the heart of everything we do and support our collective focus on being leaders and innovators in the area of patient experience.

Improve options for end-of-life care

Together, we’ve identified a strong need for coordinated, individualized and respectful Palliative Care in our region. Through a Joint Palliative Pledge we will commit to transforming and dramatically improving the patient experience for those living with life-limiting illnesses.

Today, the majority of patients die in hospital but most wish to die at home. By taking action together, we can change the way we collectively support patients and families – and enhance the quality of living and dying – by emphasizing respect, dignity and compassion as we support them through this journey.

Take a regional approach to planning

The Central West region is one of the most diverse and fastest-growing in the province, and our organizations share similar challenges. One of the many ways we are working together is illustrated in our regional approach to planning, which supports the delivery of quality, timely health care services.

For the first time, our organizations have begun the process of creating a joint business plan that will build upon our collective accomplishments to further drive us toward achieving our strategic goals. We will also focus on developing strategies and creating innovative solutions to so that we can best serve the patients in our communities.

Shifting from traditional thinking, breaking down barriers, and considering more unconventional methods of collaboration is taking our partnership to a whole other level. While it is still early days, the impact of the changes derive real benefits for the patients we serve.

The sky is the limit for redevelopment at Osler

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

Osler’s transformative journey started with one question: how do we improve patient care in our community? While there are many answers, the expansion and revitalization of our three hospitals was near the top of the list. After years of planning, Osler’s renewal is quickly becoming a reality.

We’ve reached another exciting milestone at Etobicoke General Hospital with the announcement of the three teams we’ve chosen as potential candidates to design, build, finance and maintain the hospital’s new four-storey wing. This brings us one step closer to completion on a new, state-of-the-art wing that is set to transform Etobicoke General.

This selection process is the same as the one we used to determine the construction team for the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness as each of the short-listed teams include a developer, design/builder, finance group, and a facility maintenance provider. I am pleased to announce the short-listed teams: EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare, Etobicoke Healthcare Partnership, and Plenary Health.

These three teams will be invited to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP) that is expected to be issued in the coming months. In the meantime, we will be preparing the existing building and systems for the new addition with a series of Early Works projects while we start planning for the construction of a new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) that will house a number of outpatient programs and services.

As Peel Memorial continues to rise from the ground, we are finalizing the requirements for our patient care spaces. Full scale mock ups of clinical spaces – complete with all equipment and finishes – have been created to give staff the opportunity to test out functionality and flow before construction takes place. Staff from a number of departments have already viewed and provided feedback on these spaces, which has resulted in changes that will be applied to the final design.

Over the next year we will open the doors to Osler staff, physicians, our patient advisors and potential donors so they can get a glimpse of what the new Peel Memorial will look like.

Over at Brampton Civic Hospital, we are continuing to renew and refresh our clinical areas as we plan for the future. Some programs currently located at Brampton Civic will move to Peel Memorial when it opens and our redevelopment team is working hard to determine the best use for those spaces.

As we continue to transform all three of our sites, I look forward to sharing exciting news about our progress as it happens!

How to be a Community Leader in 3 Easy Steps

Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking to more than 200 guests at the State of the City luncheon hosted by the Brampton Board of Trade. I was honoured to join Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Peel Region Police Chief Jennifer Evans as we gave an economic update to the business community.

Our collective presentations provided a good indicator of challenges and opportunities facing the city and our region. While there were a lot of wonderful insights shared during the luncheon, one of the main takeaways from the meeting came from Mayor Jeffrey: “We have all the right ingredients for long-term success.”

Osler is an essential part of that recipe for success and there are three things that we can do as leaders to help build a sustainable health care system now and for the future.

  1. Don’t fear change, embrace it.

Change was one of the biggest themes of the day and in the coming years, we can expect a lot of it. As I walk around the units of Osler hospitals I can see the early signs of change in the types of patients who come to us for care. Here is a snapshot of how the demographics of our region have changed, and how they will continue to change, over the next decade:


These numbers mean that we need to change the way we deliver health care in our community in order to create a sustainable health care system that can support the increasing demands for chronic and acute health care. Osler is meeting these challenges by shifting our clinical priorities to accommodate the changing needs of the communities we serve.

We are also placing a tremendous amount of energy renewing and redeveloping our spaces at Peel Memorial and Etobicoke General so we can provide high-quality care now and well into the future.

  1. There’s no “I” in team.

If two heads are better than one when generating new ideas, three heads are definitely better than two. Earlier this year, we formalized a bold new strategic partnership with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters). This regional approach to health care planning is designed to put patients and families first by strengthening the system and finding new and better ways of working together.

It’s a first in the province of Ontario and others will be looking to us as leaders, setting the example of how to collectively strengthen the delivery of health care across our region. Aligning our resources will allow us to:

  • Promote further collaboration;
  • Identify joint investment opportunities;
  • Navigate system-level planning; and,
  • Improve our combined ability to meet the health care needs of our community.

Relying on the expertise of our partners builds a stronger bond and creates a more efficient way of operating in a challenging environment.

  1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

You’ve likely heard the adage “slow and steady wins the race.” I agree that a thoughtful and well-paced approach to change is the best way to achieve success in health care. The only difference is that the race never truly ends, we just keep adapting to new realities as they appear.

When faced with significant change Osler has reacted with a measured approach. We have started to lay the groundwork for a strategic shift from avoidable emergency visits and unscheduled patient admissions to scheduled outpatient appointments. Our five-year Strategic Plan continues to serve as the roadmap for how we will evolve health care in our community to achieve our Vision to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries.