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.

PeelToppingOffGroup

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.

Summer is a time when many of us take some time to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, whether in our own backyards, local parks or up at the cottage. While a slower pace is often a welcome change, we can’t forget that staying safe at home and on the road will help you stay out of the emergency department (ED).

The latest installment of our monthly Live Well with Osler health and wellness series highlights some rules of the road to keep you safe during this busy summer season. There are more fatalities on Canadian roads during the summer than at any other time of year and over the last few years, motor vehicle collisions were the leading cause of hospital admissions and ED visits among Ontario youth aged 15 to 24 years.

Road safety is especially important to remember if you are coming to Osler for an appointment during July and August as the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games lane restrictions will reduce capacity on the roads and increase traffic volumes across the Greater Toronto Area. Please be sure to give yourself ample time to safely get to and from our facilities or these exciting events.

Safety is also top of mind across our hospital sites as we’re put a number of measures in place within our walls to enhance the safety of everyone who works, receives care and visits Osler:

  • A new web-based reporting system for clinical and non-clinical incidents was introduced this spring to help enhance our culture of safety at Osler by preventing or reducing errors and improving overall health care quality.
  • As part of our redevelopment of Etobicoke General, we’ve installed new lighting and emergency call stations in staff parking areas to improve visibility and safety while staff are coming to and from work.
  • We implemented a computer-generated medication administration record (cMAR) across Osler to improve patient safety and reduce the risk of medication transcription errors.

Whether in the heat of summer or the middle of the chilly winter, safety always starts with you.