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.

Osler is the Patient Experience

At Osler, we have more than 750,000 patient interactions each year. Each encounter presents an opportunity for us to deliver high-quality, patient-inspired care.

Last week was Patient Experience Week, an annual world-wide event created by our friends at The Beryl Institute. It gave us a chance to celebrate Osler’s accomplishments, reenergize our efforts to put patients and families first, and honour the staff, physicians and volunteers who impact patient experience every day. Our service excellence team visited each of our sites to thank everyone for working so hard to create memorable patient experiences.

There is also a lot going on behind the scenes to support our front lines to deliver great care. From engaging with our Patient Advisory Committees to increasing visibility of our patient relations team in key units to expanding our post-discharge call centre across the Central West region, we are constantly looking for new ways to put patients at the centre of their care.

Earlier this year I wrote about how I’m Living the Vision at Osler. Since that post, this idea has taken off across the organization and when I heard the following story I knew I needed to share it with you.

A patient was recently admitted to the orthopaedic unit at Etobicoke General after falling in the Dominican Republic, where she was preparing to attend her daughter’s wedding. The injury was serious enough that she had to return to Canada for treatment and miss the wedding. We frequently repatriate patients from all over the world, but what happened next is truly remarkable.

The clinical team was so moved by this patient’s story that they rallied to find a way for her to attend the wedding virtually through Skype. An iPad was borrowed from the emergency department and a social worker, with no connection to the patient or program, stayed with the patient to help coordinate the video connection that allowed her to see her daughter get married. Needless to say, the patient’s family was overjoyed that the care team was able to make this happen.

Stories like this make me so proud of Osler’s incredible staff who really take our Vision of providing patient-inspired health care without boundaries to heart.

We also wrapped up another successful Be a Donor month, which Osler celebrated with Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN).

Over the past year, Osler’s successful organ and tissue donation program has helped to save more than 50 lives!

We helped start the conversation about the importance of organ and tissue donation by asking 700 Osler staff, physicians and volunteers to register as donors. Remember, just two minutes can help save up to eight lives.

“I’m living the dream – I get a second chance at life.” – Jennifer Monteith, heart transplant recipient

Earlier this year, heart transplant recipient Jennifer Monteith shared her incredible story at Brampton Civic. Once diagnosed with congenital heart failure, Jennifer could barely walk a few feet, but a heart transplant gave her new life. Her story, and many others like it, remind me of the impact of organ and tissue donation, and Osler’s commitment to ensuring that we do our part to help others receive life-saving gifts.

Osler is making great strides in the area of organ and tissue donation, and we recently received good news from Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) that resulted in an article on the front page of the Globe and Mail. TGLN results from last quarter show that Osler has significantly improved upon converting the number of potential organ and tissue donors to actual donors, increasing the consent rate from 33 per cent to a remarkable 80 per cent. This means that for every five potential donors we see, four become actual donors. We’ve has also improved upon notifying TGLN of potential organ and tissue donation cases, seeing an increase from 75 per cent to 94 per cent.

With more than 1,500 people awaiting life-saving transplants in Ontario, Osler’s success is truly exciting news. We have worked to improve our routine notification and conversation rates and these improvements are having a tremendous impact on our ability to positively affect the lives of those on the transplant waiting list.

Our outcomes have improved in large part due to a dedicated team that ensures organ and tissue donation is a part of end-of-life care and by adopting TGLN protocols to help staff in the ICU take the necessary steps to alert TGLN about potential donors. We are also working more closely with TGLN’s Regional Medical Lead and following-up on all potential organ donors.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication to this important work. I know we will continue to build on these positive changes to help save more lives.

This good news builds on our TGLN partnership that launched Osler’s Be a Donor campaign to increase awareness of the importance and impact of tissue and organ donation. Our goal is to encourage 500 members of Osler staff, physicians and volunteers to register their consent as organ and tissue donors. If you like to register your consent as an organ and tissue donor, you can do so at www.beadonor.ca/WilliamOsler.