As the CEO of one of Ontario’s largest community hospital systems, it’s important for me to have a 30,000 foot view of everything that goes on at Osler. However, as we continuously work to enhance the patient experience at Osler, I’ve been focussing on establishing a deeper, more direct connection with the patients and families that we serve.
Our Vision to provide patient-inspired health care without boundaries is at the heart of everything we do at Osler. It’s the inspiration behind Living the Vision, a new initiative that gives me the very rewarding opportunity to meet and to get to know some of the patients that come to Osler for care.
Living the Vision is an opportunity to learn more about our patients as people rather than focusing on the reasons for their stay at Osler. Each month I’m invited to visit a clinical unit to meet with patients and families. It is a way to really connect with those we serve so we can better understand the needs of our community.
It is also an opportunity to learn. I gain valuable insight into how we are meeting the needs of patients and families, and hear first-hand about all of the great work that is going on in the organization. At the end of each visit I always debrief with the staff to share what was heard and discuss any learnings that can help to improve the patient experience.
When patients come to a hospital for care, they aren’t often at their best. I’ve seen how a quick conversation and a simple “how are you doing today?” can immediately brighten their outlook. These small moments of kindness are what people remember most and have the power to change their health care experience.
I hear a lot of stories during my visits, but there is a common thread that runs through each and every one: the wonderful care they are receiving at Osler. It is truly inspiring to see the first-hand impact that our staff, physicians and volunteers have on the experience of patients and families.
Now that you know how I do it, how are you Living the Vision at Osler?
Imagine needing to undergo a medical procedure three times a week in order to live. For more than 400 people undergoing dialysis in the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), this is a reality.
Health care providers always want to achieve the best outcomes for patients and providing dialysis treatment closer to home is one way Osler is improving the patient experience. According to the Ontario Renal Network, patients who receive treatment closer to home reported a significantly better score on the dialysis stress portions of medical assessment surveys. More than 94 per cent of dialysis patients in our region travel less than 30 minutes for treatment.
This concept of providing “care closer to home” resulted in the Ontario Renal Network orchestrating a collaboration between Osler and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) bringing the Orangeville hospital under the umbrella of the Chronic Kidney Disease Program for the Central West LHIN. This new arrangement gives patients who come to Headwaters for dialysis treatment access to the same high quality kidney specialists at both Headwaters and Osler, closer to where they live. This partnership creates an environment that enables:
- Better coordination of services and continuity of care across the region
- Support for the best practice model for patients with kidney disease
- Expanded access to wide range of clinical, education and support resources
- A higher health-related quality of life for patients who travel shorter distances for treatment
In three short months we will be moving into the third year of our Strategic Plan. And as we do, Osler will continue to explore innovative opportunities with our partners that are mutually beneficial to patients in our region and help to bring patient-inspired care closer to home. Our recent partnership with the renal program at Headwaters is just one example of how this approach is having a profound impact on patients.
“The thrill isn’t in the winning, it’s in the doing” – Chuck Noll, legendary NFL football player and coach
Before taking the top job at Osler, I was an IT guy at a hospital in downtown Toronto. I’ve seen first-hand how technology benefits patient care and how a new generation of innovators is taking health care technology to greater heights.
Last year, we had huge success with our first-ever national student app contest and the launch of HosNav, our mobile app that uses approaches to wayfinding and diagnostic imaging prep to help transform the Osler hospital experience and provide better, more personalized service for patients and families. With hundreds of downloads to date, we’re already changing the way patients and families are accessing Osler.
But what’s better than one app? Two apps!
This year, Osler’s second app contest has gotten bigger and it will take just about 48 hours to find our next app. The auditorium at Brampton Civic Hospital will become app central from November 14 to 16 as teams gather to build their apps in a compressed period of time. Competition is going to be tougher as high school, post-secondary and graduate students from across Canada are now eligible to participate.
One sleepless weekend is a small sacrifice as the winning team will share the $10,000 grand prize, get bragging rights and have the satisfaction of improving the health care experience of patients and families in the community.
If you know a tech-savvy student who has the chops to compete, send them to the contest website to get full details information about how to register.
I can’t wait to see what fresh, new ideas this year’s students will bring to health care in the community we serve. Let the contest begin!
From the desk of Joanne Flewwelling, EVP Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive
While Osler has been making headlines with our commitment to organ donation, we’ve also been busy preparing for donations of a different kind. On July 7, Osler took the spirit of giving to new heights as we officially began collecting umbilical cord blood to be banked publically as part of Canada’s national public cord blood bank.
After months of planning, followed by a testing and validation stage, healthy pregnant women over the age of 18 can now choose to donate cord blood at Brampton Civic Hospital.
Osler struck a partnership with Canadian Blood Services last fall to designate Brampton Civic as one of only four hospitals – and the only community hospital in Canada – to serve as a collection site. It is a tremendous privilege to offer this opportunity to expectant parents in the communities we serve.
At any given time there are more than 1,000 Canadian patients in need of unrelated stem cell donors to treat lymphoma, leukemia, or other blood cancers. Only 50 percent are able to find a match and patients from diverse populations have an even greater challenge. Brampton Civic serves a growing, diverse community so collection efforts will be important and will help patients by providing additional opportunities for finding a match, and helping to save more lives.
With one of the largest Labour and Delivery departments in the province that delivers more than 5,000 babies each year, this partnership presents a unique opportunity for Osler to make an impact in the community, across Canada, and around the world.
Our partnership with Canadian Blood Services is just one of the many ways we are reaching beyond our walls to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries.
For more information about the partnership and the opportunity to donate cord blood, visit the Canadian Blood Services website.
While we haven’t quite turned the corner on the winter weather, spring is definitely in the air at Osler. And with the new season comes a renewed sense of focus as we look toward the future of health care in our region, driven by our Strategic Plan and the refreshed Clinical Priorities Plan (CPP).
A key part of our new CPP is to focus on expanding patient care in areas where we have high demand and to find new ways to better meet the needs of the patients in the communities we serve. In the coming months a number of new programs and services will open at Osler to improve access to specialized health care services, including:
- Osler’s highly anticipated Musculoskeletal (MSK) Program and MSK Centre of Excellence, which will launch in late spring. Care will take place at both sites with surgeries for upper joints being housed at Etobicoke General while all lower joints will be addressed at Brampton Civic.
- We will continue to build our Women’s Health Program by introducing a new Breast Program at Etobicoke General that features a surgical oncology procedure where mastectomy and reconstructive procedures are performed in the same surgery to minimize discomfort and recovery time for patients.
- The newly-opened Post Acute Short Stay Unit (PASSU) at Etobicoke General uses a “home first” philosophy to help medically frail patients reach their peak functional ability so they can move to their discharge destination – whether it is to their home, into transitional care or to a long-term care facility.
These changes support innovative delivery models, improved quality and increased efficiency within our local health care system and beyond. Embracing bold, practice-leading ideas will help us achieve our Vision to provide patient-inspired health care without boundaries.