Facing off against ‘dragons’ in the ED

We recently celebrated a number of professional practice days at Osler but there is one special shout out I need to make. May 19 was Personal Support Worker (PSW) day and it was a remarkable one for Osler PSW Carolynne Haynes. She received the inaugural PSW of the Year award by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU). As a person who is a “passionate and loving care provider with an infectious and warm personality [who] goes that extra mile on a daily basis” she is a deserving honouree. Congratulations on this incredible achievement!

Recently, Osler’s Emergency Department (ED) came up with a new name for their unit: the Dragon’s Den.

Based on the popular television show, the ED team created a “Dragon’s Den” and invited frontline staff from Brampton Civic’s ED to pitch their ideas on how to improve and enhance their department. They invited me to join two clinical leaders, Kim Maas-O’Hearn, Clinical Services Manager of Emergency Medicine and Dr. Tamara Wallington, Corporate Medical Director of Quality and Safety, to channel our inner dragons on the judging panel.

The teams with the top five pitches – as voted on by ED staff and physicians – will each receive $5,000 to implement their ideas from the physicians in the BCH ED.

Sixteen teams presented their ideas before an encouraging and vocal crowd of ED nurses, physicians and support staff – some coming off night shifts and others coming in on their days off – in Brampton Civic’s Auditorium. The pitches covered all aspects of the department – from improving the experience of the ED’s hallway patients to streamlining processes in different areas of the ED, and from new methods of combatting burnout to innovative team training and simulation sessions.

After each presentation, the dragons fired questions at the teams to learn more about how they will spend the money, how feasible it is to maintain the idea once implemented, and what other organizations have successfully used similar ideas.

The voice of Osler’s staff is powerful. They are the people who work in these environments every day and know the challenges of their departments better than anyone else. Our Dragon’s Den was a fun, innovative and simple way of challenging staff to think outside the box and really engage them in shaping the future of ED operations.

Sonam Bhojani, an RN in the ED, agrees: “I think we’re probably the best resource [we] have, being frontline staff. It’s great that [we] are asked to bring forward our thoughts about how we feel the department can function better.”

In the coming weeks, we’ll turn it back to the ED staff and physicians and ask them to vote for their favourite pitches. Winning ideas will be announced later this month.

While this event was exclusive to Brampton Civic, improvements are also happening at Etobicoke General. The Ambulatory Treatment Centre (ATC) has been redesigned into “see and treat” zones to create a more orderly process for patient flow and two new treatment rooms have been added to the Fast Track zone to expedite care. Osler will also be piloting ED Wait Time Cards in the coming months among patients requiring non-urgent care.

Ready to break ground at Etobicoke General

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

Spring is a time of renewal and Osler’s redevelopment program is blooming.

On May 6, Osler and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) made an exciting announcement. Etobicoke Healthcare Partnership (EHP) signed a $330 million contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new four-storey wing at Etobicoke General Hospital. Shovels will be in the ground by the end of June.


What does this mean for the community? It means that Osler is on the way to adding approximately 250,000 square feet of space to the hospital so we can deliver the programs and services our community needs most, including:

  • A larger, state-of-the-art emergency department
  • Cardiac Care and Intensive Care Units
  • A maternal newborn unit with birthing suites and a specialized nursery
  • A new ambulatory procedures unit
  • Cardiorespiratory and neurodiagnostic services

As we plan for our official public ground breaking ceremony as part of our Annual General Meeting on June 22, we continue our Early Works project to prepare the existing building for the new addition. This work includes replacing existing chillers, upgrading the heating plant, and enhancing electrical and mechanical systems.

Construction has also begun on another building on the Etobicoke General site. The new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) will house a number of outpatient programs and services including a fracture clinic, diagnostic imaging and a satellite dialysis program. A number of changes have been made to parking and traffic flow to accommodate work that is already underway so please follow the detours and travel with care when visiting Etobicoke General.

Over at the Peel Memorial site, we’re on track to complete construction by October 2016. The facility will officially open to the public in early 2017 following installation equipment and furnishing, systems testing and staff orientation. In the meantime, you can keep track of what’s happening on site by viewing our webcam.

These truly are exciting times at Osler. We’re looking forward to growing with our community and will keep you posted on our progress.

Celebrating Osler’s health care heroes

There’s no I in TEAM. This old saying rings true for our clinical teams at Osler. We have an incredible roster of clinicians at Osler and this month is the time when we turn the spotlight on them to celebrate the tremendous work they do.

Our Docs Rock!


On May 1 we marked Ontario Doctor’s Day, which is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the 850 physicians who provide care at Osler. They are passionate about the work they do and make a real difference in the lives of patients and families in the community. From providing life-saving diagnoses, innovative care close to home and improving the overall health and wellbeing of those we serve, Osler’s physicians are truly going above and beyond to provide the best possible care to patients at our hospitals and in the community.

Last year, we created a Physician Wall of Distinction at each site to recognize the achievements of these valuable members of Osler’s team. You can view it at BCH on the wall outside of Auditorium by the Cafeteria and at EGH on the first floor across from Tim Hortons. Each year we will add the names of more amazing physicians who embody the spirit of Osler.

Our Nurses are Superstars!


We’re also celebrating our incredible nurses during National Nursing Week from May 9 to 13, with a number of activities and events that will take place at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General – including breakfasts and a showcase of nursing at Osler. As Osler’s highest member team by far, our nurses are often at the forefront of patient care and I believe that when measured against their nursing peers at other hospitals, they are second to none.

Nursing Week is a powerful reminder of their impact on the lives of patients and families, our communities and on all of us. By providing compassionate care in all situations, they truly are with patients every step of the way!

Three Cheers for our Volunteers!


In addition to the many achievements of our staff and physicians, Osler’s volunteers also play a vital role in shaping the health care experience at Osler and delivering on our Vision. We recently celebrated our incredible team of 1,000+ volunteers who go beyond every single day to support patient-inspired health care at Osler during National Volunteer Week.

Want to know how our volunteers make a difference? Check out a recent Facebook post featuring a stellar member of our Volunteer Feeding program on Facebook. Julie Weare’s story of why she’s giving back to her hospital is truly inspiring and reminds me of how fortunate we are to have the support of people like her.

Over the past few months we’ve celebrated the hard work of the many unsung heroes who deliver or help support patient-inspired care each day. Our clerical associates, children’s mental health workers, palliative and supportive care program, and medical laboratory teams are just a small sampling of staff that go beyond every day for our patients. We all appreciate the unwavering dedication of the physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers who provide patient care to all we serve. THANK YOU for all that you do!

Share the

We want to hear about your experiences with Osler’s stellar team of health care professionals. Give us a five-star rating on Facebook, like one of our posts or send a shout out to someone who made a difference in your care on Twitter using #DocsRock2016 or #NursesRule2016. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Our patients are our passion

It’s no secret that Osler is a busy place. But did you know that when we add up all of our patient visits, diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests, Osler can have more than 5.3 million patient interactions in a single year?

That staggering number is one of the many reasons that an exceptional patient experience is so important. We’ve done a lot over the past year to focus our energy on the patient experience – and it remains an important part of everything we do.


Our 2016-17 Annual Business Plan highlights some of the patient-focused initiatives we’ll be working on, such as:

  • Creating a regional Patient Experience and Patient/Family Engagement Plan to truly embed the voice of patients and families in care, organizational design and decision-making
  • Improving communication between patients and health care providers using technology
  • Continuing to collaborate with clinical partners to support the needs of more complex patients

Every encounter at Osler is part of the patient experience. Our dedicated team of staff, physicians and volunteers play a vital role in providing a positive patient experience every day – and for that I can’t thank you enough!

Speaking of the patient experience, Osler is making an impact through organ donation. April was Be a Donor month and over the past year we have continued to partner with Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) to help give hope to approximately 1,600 Ontarians waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

And, we are seeing significant success in promoting organ transplants thanks to the dedication and commitment of our team. With more than 20 organ donors in 2015, Osler had the highest number of organ donations in the Greater Toronto Area and the third highest overall number of donations in the province. We couldn’t achieve this without a dedicated multi-disciplinary clinical team specializing in a careful and respectful approach to organ and tissue donation.

We’re continuing the conversation about the importance of organ and tissue donation and encouraging Osler staff, physicians, volunteers and members of the community to register as donors. Learn the facts about organ donation in Canada and remember, you can help save up to eight lives.