Taking cardiac health to “heart”

February is a time when we think about matters of the heart, including heart health. Unofficially dubbed “Heart Month” by the Heart and Stroke Foundation it serves as a reminder that heart disease remains a real risk for Canadians, including many people living in the Central West region.

Between October and December 2016, Osler had the highest local volume of heart attacks requiring angioplasty for a single health care centre in Ontario. We preform around 2,000 Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (commonly known as coronary angioplasty) procedures in our cardiac catheterization lab each year, a significant increase from the 1,200 procedures we performed just three years ago.

These numbers are staggering but not altogether surprising. There are a number of reasons we’re seeing more heart attacks in our region. Osler serves a large South Asian community, which has a higher rate of heart disease and a greater risk of early death compared to the average Canadian.

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also risk factors for heart attack. According to our partners at the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), our region has the third highest rate of diabetes in Ontario and the number of residents attending local diabetes education programs has increased.

To support the growing number of patients that depend on our cardiac programs and services, cardiac care is a major focus for Osler. Over the past five years we’ve steadily increased the number of programs and services for cardiac patients, such as introducing a 24-7 Code STEMI Program. As we continue to execute 2016-19 Clinical Priorities Plan, we’re continuing to enhance cardiac services by:

  • Opening key cardiac services at Peel Memorial including diagnostics, the Cardiac Health and Risk Management (CHARM), cardiac rehabilitation and heart function clinics.
  • Using Telemedicine to connect patients to an interdisciplinary team that will support self-management of their care and symptoms.
  • Partnering with the City of Brampton to deliver cardiac rehabilitation, ensuring patients receive care in the most appropriate setting.

These enhancements are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to supporting cardiac care at Osler. We’re also participating in ground-breaking research that uses non-invasive therapy to minimize the damage caused by STEMI heart attacks when the patient is en route to hospital. This partnered study is the global-first and could ultimately result in this innovative technique being adopted by health care professionals across Canada and around the world.

Plus, our Live Well with Osler series takes cardiac care to heart this month by offering tips for leading a healthy life after a heart attack. These six heart-friendly tips can help patients lead a happier, healthier life after a cardiac event.

Osler’s incredible staff, physicians and volunteers that support Osler’s comprehensive Cardiac Program are truly putting patients at the “heart” of cardiac care.

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Osler’s award-winning approach to high-quality patient care

It’s only the second full week of February and we already have a lot to celebrate! On January 31, at the Central West Local Health Integration Network’s inaugural Quality Awards, the spotlight was on Osler as we were recognized for excellence in our work to deliver exemplary care to the patients we serve.

The awards celebrate transformative initiatives that positively impact patient care and Osler received one of two 2017 Quality Awards for Physician Initial Assessment and Emergency Department Length of Stay in the Etobicoke General Hospital emergency department (ED). Lead by Dr. Sameer D’Souza and Helen Romas, this work has helped transform the ED at EGH into a top-performing ED in the Province.

We also received an honourable mention for the PoET (Prevention of Error-Based Transfers) Project, led by Dr. Paula Chidwick and Dr. Jill Oliver from Osler’s Ethics team. Designed to reduce error-based transfers between long-term care to hospital, PoET aligns the culture of decision-making with the wishes, values and beliefs of patients ultimately resulting in improved quality of care.

Congratulations to these teams on their well-deserved honours! This work is a testament to our commitment to innovative care delivered with compassion as Osler continues to be recognized as a quality organization that embraces innovative and effective approaches to providing safe, quality patient care.

In fact, we recently received word from Accreditation Canada that Osler has been awarded with two additional leading practice designations, which brings our total to SEVEN – a new record for us!

  • The Power of Diversity Change Champions for Safe, Equitable and Quality Health Care
  • Cleanliness and Fluorescent Marker Audit Practice

A leading practice is a national recognition that must meet at least two distinctions: we do something that no one else in the country does and we do something unique or better than anyone else in the country. The fact that we were recognized seven times is nothing short of remarkable.

As we move forward with our back to basics strategy around the consistent delivery of safe, quality care in the year ahead I’m confident that we will continue to shine.

Welcome to the new Peel Memorial

Just two and half years after breaking ground on the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness, we’ve reached an incredible milestone in our redevelopment journey. Today is the day we can finally say “welcome to the new Peel Memorial.”

This morning we were so proud to officially switch on the lights, roll up the shades and open our doors to welcome patients to this innovative new facility.

You may notice that not all services will be available on day one. We’re taking a phased approach to opening services at Peel Memorial. Our administrative teams were the first to move into the building last fall along with Addictions Counselling, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Counselling and the Eating Disorders Clinic. Today, seven new services are available to patients:

  • Urgent Care Centre (UCC) – A convenient alternative for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses
  • Cardiac Diagnostics – Expertise and equipment to diagnose a wide range of heart conditions
  • Mental Health Services – Central Intake Service and Transitional Aged Youth Services will support a growing need for mental health and addictions services
  • Mental Health & Addictions Rapid Response Clinic – Patients are quickly connected with the services they need to meet their unique needs
  • Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratories – High-tech diagnostic services including radiography, mammography, ultrasound, CT scans, bone mineral density tests, and laboratory services
  • Urgent Medical Clinic – Urgent medical consults for patients that are referred from the UCC at Peel and patients referred from Osler-affiliated family physicians
  • Pharmacy – Support the medication needs of patients receiving care at Peel Memorial

In addition to these services, the cafeteria and Tim Hortons is also open and ready to serve everyone at Peel Memorial.

As we start to welcome patients to our new facility, we are continuing to prepare for the final move-in phase in March and April. With all services open to the public by the end of April, Peel Memorial will be fully open for business.

To celebrate this final milestone, we’re planning a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the spring. More details will be shared closer to the event.

Until then, I’m pleased to say “welcome to the new Peel Memorial.”

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What you need to know about the Urgent Care Centre at Peel Memorial

It’s been quite the journey, but I can’t believe we’re just days away from opening the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness!

More than 3,000 people visited Peel Memorial during our many community tours over the past two months and among the services generating a lot of buzz was the Urgent Care Centre. (If you missed the in-person tours you can still see what our new space looks like by taking a virtual tour.

As we get closer to opening our doors we wanted to answer some of the most common questions we’ve received about the UCC.

What is the UCC?

Care at Peel Memorial’s UCC will be provided by Osler’s emergency-trained physicians and staff. These talented teams will be equipped with high-tech diagnostic imaging and lab services, and are ready to handle most non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

Do I need an appointment?

As with Osler’s emergency departments, no referral or appointment is needed to access the UCC’s services.

What are the hours of operation?

The UCC at Peel Memorial will be open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

When should I go to the UCC?

When it’s not an emergency but treatment can’t wait, go to the UCC. Some examples of non-life threatening illnesses or injuries treated at the UCC include:

  • Sprains and broken bones
  • Cuts that might need stitches
  • Allergic reactions, skin rashes
  • Asthma attacks
  • Minor burns
  • Fevers, coughs and colds
  • Infections
  • Nose and throat complaints

If you have severe chest pain, stroke symptoms, or you are uncertain of where to go always CALL 9-1-1 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

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We’ve seen unprecedented patient volumes over the holiday season and beyond, which has placed considerable pressure on our emergency departments. The UCC will help to improve patient access to care by providing a convenient option to the ED for non-life threatening conditions.