Caring for our community’s newest residents

This week’s guest blogger is Kiki Ferrari, Interim Executive Vice President, Clinical Services

New beginnings. We witness them daily on Osler’s Labour and Delivery (L&D) units at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General Hospitals, where we delivered more than 7,700 babies in 2016-17. While that made Osler’s L&D the second busiest in Ontario, recent activities reveal that there’s a much bigger story behind that number.

Earlier this month, thanks to solid working relationships within Osler’s Women’s and Children’s services, we delivered 58 babies in 48 hours across Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General, marking an extraordinary couple of days on the L&D units!

The staff, physicians and volunteers in our post-partum, paediatric and obstetrical units work closely with those in our labour and delivery and neonatal intensive care units (NICU) on a regular basis to ensure that we can continue to meet the care needs of both expecting and new moms and their babies, even under the most challenging of circumstances.

When our teams spring into action you can clearly see they are an experienced and fine-tuned group with a deep commitment to deliver safe, high quality patient care. Thanks to their efforts, as well as those from all corners of Osler, every one of those moms and babies received the best possible care from admission to discharge. Meanwhile the care for those on other units within Women’s and Children’s services continued seamlessly and without disruption while a baby or two was born every hour for two days.

The benefit of Osler’s productive working relationships within Women’s and Children’s services goes beyond our walls. That was evident during Ontario’s NICU surge this summer, which still continues today, in the number of infants needing high-level intensive care.

More than 22 community hospitals in Ontario refer very sick babies to the Level III neonatal intensive care units at SickKids, Mount Sinai and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Currently and throughout this summer’s intense NICU surge, Osler was pleased to be among Ontario’s hospitals to help ease the pressure on the Level III NICUs by supporting the flow of babies in and out of the three affected hospitals. Once stabilized, many of the sick infants were cared for in Brampton Civic’s NICU and Etobicoke General’s Special Care Nursery (SCN). Brampton’s NICU is one of the largest Level II NICUs of its kind in the province, and in 2018, Etobicoke General will open a NICU in its new patient tower, where premature babies can thrive and grow stronger close to home.

My sincerest thanks to all the staff, physicians and volunteers across Osler who continue to go above and beyond to help our community’s newest residents get their best start in life.

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More than just a flu shot

Protecting ourselves, our colleagues and our patients against the flu is one of the most important ways we can ensure staff and patients stay safe and healthy during the flu season. This year’s flu campaign, “More Than Just a Flu Shot”, reinforces how every one of us has an important role to play in protecting the safety of staff and patients at Osler.

While I got my flu shot, I chatted with Kim Steeves, Occupational Health Nurse at Osler, about why it’s important to get vaccinated.

 

 

Giving thanks

One of the Thanksgiving traditions I love most has nothing to do with turkey or pumpkin pie. Instead, it’s the opportunity to pause, reflect and give thanks for the many people in my life – my family, friends, and colleagues.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend Osler’s Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centre delivered care to an astounding 2,414 patients – with Monday as the busiest day with 872 visits. To put this in perspective, in my former life with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, we saw that number of people in a day – though spread across 12 acute care hospital sites!

In addition, this activity was taking place while Brampton Civic hovered on the verge of Code Gridlock. That means as many of us were sitting down at our Thanksgiving tables or enjoying holiday weekend activities, some of our colleagues were busy caring for patients in our hospitals. While many were providing direct care to patients and families, others were supporting their colleagues in so many ways, such as registering patients, cleaning rooms, portering patients, conducting diagnostic tests, answering incoming calls, responding to questions from patients and families, and so much more, so that we can be here to care for our community.

My thanks to the staff, physicians and volunteers who sacrificed time with friends and family this holiday weekend so that others could spend time with theirs. But my thanks to the Osler team goes so much deeper than that.

Flu season hasn’t even arrived yet, and already we’re experiencing higher than normal patient volumes in our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centre. It seems Code Gridlock is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. From my perspective, this is when you all truly shine.

Delivering safe, quality care is not easy when dealing with patient volumes that exceed all expectations, yet I have watched you time and again come together as a unified team to do whatever is needed so we can continue to treat everyone who comes through our doors.

Thank you all for the dedication and commitment you have to patients each and every day, for the knowledge you share with one another to inspire new thinking and new ways of doing things, and for the ways you support one another and patients even under the most challenging of circumstances.

What you do matters. What we do together makes a difference. You make me incredibly proud to be a part of the Osler family.

Getting to the heart of patient experience

At Osler, how patients experience their care is more than just the quality of their actual care but how they are greeted, talked to, their ability to find and access various services, how engaged they and their family are in their care and decisions-related to their care. This week, I had the privilege to get out on a unit with Mary Jane, our Chief Patient Experience Officer, and one of our physiotherapists to talk about patient experience, what it means and how we all play a role in delivering patient-inspired care.