A journey that’s never complete

A journey that’s never complete

By Wolf Klassen, VP Program Support
Michael Garron Hospital, formerly Toronto East General Hospital
 
Every year many of us make New Year’s resolutions and goals. We aim to change old habits, start new endeavors and make improvements. We strive to be better. At the hospital, we also go through a similar quality improvement process. We’re continuously striving to be better.
 
At MGH / TEHN we have a strong culture of improvement. We’re continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of those we serve. We revaluate and tweak our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) on a yearly basis, ensuring everyone is on the same page and that we’re on a path towards success.
 
Our improvement journey is never complete.
 
This year we have a unique opportunity to highlight the culture of improvement we have at MGH / TEHN and the great services we provide. On June 13-16 2016, we’ll be visited by surveyors from an organization called Accreditation Canada. Don’t stress, it’s not a test. Accreditation is your opportunity to shine!
 
To help prepare us to talk about the great work we do, Sarah Downey and I are launching a video series called The Adventures of Sarah and Wolf. These light and sharable videos will be released once every month and will highlight a major Accreditation theme. The theme for January is communication. We encourage you to share this video with your peers and start the conversation about why communication is important in healthcare.
 
As providers, we implement several safety measures to help keep our patients safe. These actions are embedded in what we do and are vital to the care we provide.
 
For instance, when a patient is admitted to our hospital we use communication to help keep them safe.

     

  • We consult with the patient, family members and a pharmacist to create an up-to-date medication list and understand the patient’s full medication history
  • We ask the patient for two identifiers to ensure the right patient is receiving the right care
  • We maintain ongoing communication with the patient, staff and other healthcare providers regarding the patients care plan and current status.

These interactions are just a few examples of how we use communication to ensure exceptional, seamless care. Sarah Downey and I want to say thank you for your hard work and ongoing commitment to safety and quality!
 
Safety is the key to quality.
 
Please stay tuned for more Adventures of Sarah and Wolf as well as our Dispatches from the Frontlines series.
 
Follow me on twitter @WolfKlassen

Let’s talk about it

Let’s talk about it

By Wolf Klassen, VP Program Support
Michael Garron Hospital, formerly Toronto East General Hospital
@wolfklassen
 
BellLetsTalk
 
In the hustle and bustle of your busy day, I want you to try something.
 
Pause. Take a breath and look around for a moment.
 
Chances are someone you know or work with lives with, or is affected by a mental health condition.
 
Here’s a rough “By the Numbers” look at mental health illness in Canada:
 
• Each week 500,000 Canadians call in sick as a result of mental illness;
• Today 1/5 Canadians live with a mental health condition;
1 in every 2 Canadians will be affected by mental illness before age 40.
 
As you know, at MGH, we’re committed to providing the best patient-centred care to our community. And in order for us to accomplish this, we need to ensure you are all mentally and physically healthy. A mentally and physically healthy staff is one of the foundations of great care.
 
When we design and deliver staff wellness programs, we know and understand that wellness must reach beyond the gym door to our frontlines. From training and development, sustainable support programs, like Compassion Fatigue and Emotional Intelligence, councils for collaboration and innovation, opportunities to contribute to the way we work empowers our staff.
 
It enriches us. It enriches our culture.
 
At MGH, we understand the importance of social connection.
 
We strive to build a culture of support and we continue to be a leader among our peers nationally and in Ontario.
 
On January 27th we will celebrate a culture of reaching out- of talking about mental health. Bell Let’s Talk is a day to engage in a national conversation about mental illness.
 
So…let’s talk about it. And let’s continue this conversation. Every day.
 
Every time someone stays silent, stigma wins.
 
A lot of your colleagues are already talking about it. Are you? Have a watch here.
 
We all owe it to our families, fellow staff members and to our patients.
 
To join the conversation go to #BellLetsTalk. Also, come to the entrance of the Café on Four on Wednesday, January 27 between 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to have your say and join the rest of your colleagues in the national conversation to end the stigma surrounding mental health.
 

Lessons on Teamwork from Centre Court

Lessons on Teamwork from Centre Court

By Sarah Downey, President & CEO, Michael Garron Hospital of the Toronto East Health Network (formerly Toronto East General Hospital)
 
15-love.
 
We were down a set, but not out.
 
Nancy and I were a doubles tennis team. And this was the biggest tennis tournament in our young lives. You see, we were representing Team New Brunswick at the 1985 Canada Summer Games.
 
I remember thinking to myself, “If we want to win, we’re going to have to dig deep, play off each other’s strengths and try not to let our opponents see our weaknesses, really work together to cover the court.”
 
In the end, we didn’t win. But I do remember the lessons in teamwork that I learned from the courts in my hometown of Fredericton. I always preferred doubles tennis over singles because I felt I always had more at stake. I didn’t want to let my teammate down. This belief forced me to be responsible for my actions on the court. We had to work as a team or we stood a chance of forever being eliminated in the first round.
 
All of us have teamwork experiences from across our personal and professional lives.
 
A while ago I wrote that it takes a village to create and nurture a strong, supportive culture. It’s not accidental that our patient satisfaction and staff engagement scores are high. Collectively, we’re committed to working together toward the same goal: to provide the best care and ensure a very positive experience for our patients and their families.
 
This spirit defines us.
 
During the recent Interprofessional Practice week I was fortunate enough to see this collaborative spirit in action.
 
Moving forward we’ll need to rely on this spirit of teamwork and resiliency. We’ve got some challenging financial times ahead. But we’ve seen this before. And we’ll emerge stronger when we work through this together. Rest assured, we’re not the only ones experiencing this.
 
I know it’s in all of us to dig deep, really work together and rally hard.
 
Our future depends on it.
 
Join me on Twitter @SarahEDowney1
 

Leading the Force for Change in 2016: Making Workplaces Safer across the GTA

Leading the Force for Change in 2016: Making Workplaces Safer across the GTA

By Sarah Downey, President & CEO
 
Happy New Year!
 
I am incredibly proud to work at our hospital where we have zero tolerance for all forms of workplace violence. We know that when our staff, physicians and volunteers are safe, they are able to provide the highest quality care and service to our patients. We encourage everyone to speak up. And we foster a supportive culture for those exposed to violence.
 
We believe that violence is not – and never should be – part of any person’s job.
 
As many of you know, we have been recognized as the provincial and national leader in workplace violence prevention. In fact, our Workplace Violence Prevention program garnered national attention in this recent media story that aired on Global Television’s 16X9.
 
Workplace Violence resize

In order to make the entire health system stronger, partnership and collaboration is vital. Our hospital is part of the Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare and Innovation. The Joint Centres is a partnership between six large community hospitals including Mackenzie Health, Markham Stouffville Hospital, North York General Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and us.
 
Together, we are leveraging the collective talent within our organizations to drive quality and improvement in our health system.
 
Each year, the Joint Centres comes together at InnovationEX to showcase and share innovations that have been developed at our respective organizations. This year, InnovationEx will be held at Markham Stouffville Hospital on April 7th. Save the date!
 
Some of the innovations that we have shared with each other include reducing C-difficile infections, reducing C-Section rates and reducing unnecessary tests through Choosing Wisely. Today, I’m proud to announce that we are co-leading the force for change in making workplaces safer across the GTA. And in partnership with Southlake Regional Health Centre, we are spreading our best practices and expert knowledge in the area of workplace violence prevention. Irene Andress, Chief Nurse Executive is co-chair of the working group.
 
Making our workplaces safe for all requires teamwork, collaboration and a united front. Together the Joint Centres will be moving ahead in the coming months to address the increased need for secure, safe and healthy work environments where nurses and other health professionals can thrive and deliver high-quality care.
 
Our patients are counting on it.