About Osler Blogger

We are: Matt Anderson - President and CEO of William Osler Health System Liz Buller - Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive Dr. Ian Smith - Chief of Staff We write about health care issues focusing on the diverse communities William Osler Health System serves in Brampton and Etobicoke. Anything goes, from fun facts and tidbits about our hospital, to progress in redeveloping and renewing our facilities. Got something to say? Check out our posting policy to ensure our moderator doesn't scrap your comment as spam!

Holiday health care options

This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Frank Martino, Chief of Staff

It’s never an intended part of anyone’s holiday plans – a fever, stomach bug, infection, broken bone or cut. But illnesses and accidents don’t seem to care much about the date on the calendar.

If they did, we wouldn’t see significant increases in patient volumes at our hospitals during the holiday season. Holiday surge, however, has become the norm at Osler, along with most other hospitals across the country. Last year at Osler, our team cared for an unprecedented 25,734 patients over a two week period in December and January, with the highest volumes on December 26.

The good news is there are things each of us can do to mitigate our chances of getting sick and/or the impact of illness should it strike this holiday season. And it starts with getting the flu shot. We can also boost our immune system by eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.

Staying well and out of the hospital during the holidays also involves some proactive planning. Most of us make lists for the groceries and gifts we need to buy. I recommend you also consider making a holiday care check list, one that reminds you to:

  • fill prescriptions and stock up on any needed medications and medical supplies like inhalers, oxygen and glucose test strips ahead of time
  • find out what hours your family doctor or specialist’s office is open during the holidays
  • figure out where the closest urgent care clinics are
  • take note of the number for Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000

Be sure to check out some more holiday care options and tips at our special Holiday Page. We’ve also created a video and some helpful infographics, included in this blog, to help you determine when you should seek treatment at Peel Memorial’s Urgent Care Centre and when you should go to one of our two acute care Emergency Departments.

Our hope, of course, is that you and your family enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season, but we also want you to know that we’re here for you if you need us. And that we’ve taken significant steps to extend and adjust resources to accommodate the anticipated higher patient volumes and ensure everyone in the community continues to have access to safe, quality, patient-inspired care when and where it is needed.



Our community. Our family.


Guest blog by Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, William Osler Health System Foundation

This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to once again travel to China. It was a meaningful trip because I have two wonderful daughters that my wife and I adopted from China. To be able to bring my daughters back to the country of their birth was incredibly special and led me to reflect on the importance and meaning of family.

The word ‘family’ means something different for everyone. Some find their family in those related by blood, others find family in their spouses, friends, caregivers and co-workers.

In my experience, for many volunteers, staff and physicians at our three hospitals, family also refers to many of the co-workers that they spend so much time with and the patients that they care for.

People who support the Foundation often reflect that you never need your community hospital until you do. Community hospitals, like ours, impact thousands and thousands of families every year. As a teenager with a mother who became ill and again as parent, this has been true for me personally. And after attending the Gala Benefit Concert on Saturday night, it was evident that most people who were in attendance have lived this experience as well.

The belief in the work of Osler volunteers, staff and physicians was palpable that night. The event raised an incredible $746,000 for our hospitals. Just as importantly, it was a profound demonstration of the trust and commitment that our communities have for its hospitals. This trust and commitment would not be possible without all of you. Through your generosity and kindness, the Foundation guides others to pay it forward.

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As we enter into the season of giving, I would like to thank you for the tremendous impact you have on others—changing people’s lives, one family at a time.

All my best to you and yours over the holidays and a wish for good health, growth and a little adventure in 2018. I know I speak on behalf of the entire Foundation when I say, we look forward to continuing to work with you in the service of our communities in the year ahead.



Quality – Change Day

This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Naveed Mohammad, Vice-President Medical Affairs

Small changes can have big impact on patient care.

That’s the simple but powerful premise behind Change Day, a global movement designed to empower people in health care to make positive changes through pledges and actions to improve compassionate quality care. A pledge is something that you commit to doing, changing, or improving for yourself, your team, or patients.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAmaAAAAJDNhZDY5NTVmLWFkZWMtNDRkYi04OGIwLWUwNTEwZjAwYzQzNQ.pngChange Day began as a grassroots push by a group of doctors in the UK in 2013 and has spread to 17 countries, including Canada where Change Day is now held in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, and, new this year, Ontario.

The Change Day movement aligns perfectly with Osler’s Mission and Vision to deliver innovative, patient-inspired health care with compassion. And that’s why, when the opportunity arose to be part of the inaugural Change Day Ontario, we didn’t hesitate.

You’ve likely seen our Change Day Ontario posters around our hospitals or received emails and eblasts encouraging you to join Osler’s pledge: “To further improve patient safety by achieving its goal of 100 per cent compliance by staff and physicians in correctly validating patient/client identification prior to any treatment service or procedure.”

Osler’s pledge supports our Expect to Check Campaign and reinforces how critical it is to patient safety to correctly identify every patient, every time. At the end of October, our performance was at 85.5 per cent.

Many of you have already gone to the Change Day Ontario website to support Osler’s pledge and/or make your own personal pledge. Thank you for taking part! Your participation is further proof that Osler staff are passionate about safe, quality care for our patients. To see some of the pledges made by staff at Osler, with representation from ED, Acute Care, Mental Health, Emergency Medical Services, Seniors Care and more, click here.

The pledge period began on September 12 and officially ends tomorrow. The Change Day movement, however, like Osler’s commitment to compassionate quality care, has no end date but is an ongoing journey involving all of us.



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.

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.