We’re all in this Together

We’re all in this Together

By Wolf Klassen, VP Program Support
 

As I walk around the halls of our hospital, connecting with many of you, I’m continually impressed by your commitment to keeping our hospital safe for patients and staff. A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to shadow Anna O’Shaughnessy, Infection Control Supervisor and Biljana Tasevski, Environmental Cleaner. I was very impressed with their attention to detail and commitment to keeping the hospital safe and clean.
 
Imagine for a moment your elderly mother or grandmother. Imagine they had to be admitted to hospital. I know you would do whatever it takes to make sure they are kept safe and leave us healthier than when they were admitted. But sometimes this doesn’t happen. Sometimes, but not often, the people who come here for help – including your loved ones, get sicker in our care. They’re sicker partially because they contracted an infection like C.difficile.
 
Clostridium difficile or C.difficile or simply “C.diff” is a bacteria that, among other things, causes mild to severe diarrhea. When you’re already sick and your immune system is compromised, contracting C.diff can be deadly. For most of us reading this, we’re not at high risk for contracting C.diff, but that’s a different story for our elderly parents or grandparents in hospital. At all times, there are patients who have C.diff in our hospital. Most of these patients acquired C.diff in the community. Our job is to make sure that transmission to other patients does not occur.
 
As you’re all aware, our patients and their families are our priority. We each do what we do every day because we’re committed to working with our patients and providing them with the best care possible.
 
We have a strong culture of safety at our hospital.
 
In order to provide the very best care, we must collectively roll up our sleeves and commit to regular handwashing. Just as important, we need to all be mindful of how our actions are impacting the safety of our patients: clean all patient equipment before it touches another patient, ensure isolation signage is in place and that all staff who come into contact with a patient diagnosed with C.diff are taking the proper precautions.
 
Again, imagine your mom or grandfather.
 
We’re all in this together. And we all have a role to play in keeping our hospital safe for your mom, grandparent or elderly neighbour.
 
We are always looking at new ways to protect patients from C.diff. Over the next little while, we’re meeting with experts from both inside and outside our hospital to try new approaches.
 
I would like to make a pledge that I will do my part to ensure the safety of our patients. Will you join me and take that pledge too? As we head into the fall – and soon, the Flu season – we will need to be even more vigilant.
 
So let’s start today.
 
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think @WolfKlassen.
 

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

By Sarah Downey, President & CEO
 
I’m sure you’re all aware of the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And as a mom, I know I continually rely on my husband and many others to help raise my two kids. Because of my circle of family, friends, teachers and even sports coaches, my kids are thriving. The same can be said about creating, cultivating and nurturing a strong culture at Toronto East General Hospital. We all have a role to play.
 
When I arrived at TEGH as the new President & CEO last spring, someone said to me, “Oh, you’ll love it at TEGH, you’ll really fit into the culture at this hospital.”
 
But what did they mean? What is the culture here at TEGH?
 
In the short time that I’ve been here, I would define our TEGH culture as a shared goal to provide the best care and service to people when they are in need. This is the foundation of why we do what we do. I’ve also noticed a can-do attitude that’s typical from the frontlines to senior management. TEGH-ers are characterized by their willingness to accept and meet challenges. We have no issues rising to the occasion especially when the going gets tough. We are small, but mighty. And these common characteristics unite us all.
 
It takes a village.
 
No one person defines our hospital – collectively we’re a force for change and innovation from the bedside to the boardroom. We’re also a humble and modest bunch. We need to take more time celebrating our successes, wins and innovative practices.
 
With that, I’d like to officially launch our Dispatches from the Frontlines video series. It will be a chance for our staff to tell their stories and for our senior leaders to get to know the people who provide top quality care and contribute to creating the culture here at TEGH.
 
Before you click on the link, I want to thank Lucy Ann Harriman. She’s one of our hard working porters. Through her eyes, I experienced life on the frontlines. Through her story, I saw the incredible service she provides every day to people when they are most in need.
 
Most importantly, I witnessed compassion at its best; I witnessed care at its best. It takes a village to create a strong culture and a high functioning workplace. We all play an important role in telling and shaping the next phase of the TEGH story.