General Express Dec. 2014

An Ebola mock exercise tested our preparedness

Bob Clayborne, Director of Laboratory Services generously volunteered to portray someone coming into the Emergency Department who had recently travelled to Liberia and who now had a fever. The first step was to screen him using a newly installed speaker system in Triage. With his travel history and symptoms, Bob is now identified as a suspect case. He's given a mask by the Triage Nurse, Anita, and is brought into the triage area. Anita references our new Ebola Policy and Procedure and immediately makes calls alerting those involved of a suspect case.
One of the first calls is to Housekeeping. Their task is to prepare Exam 4 in the Emergency Department to receive the patient. That room is able to provide a negative pressure environment which is to be used when Ebola is suspected. The patient is now in Exam 4. Wendy James, Infection Control Professional (centre) directs the mock exercise and fields numerous questions from those observing including representatives from Public Health. Anita listens carefully to step-by-step instructions for proper removal of her protective equipment.
Dr. Ed Chung and Nurse Andrea volunteered to be the first to treat the patient. They pay close attention to instructions being read by their "donning" coach when putting on their PPE. Each step must be meticulously done in order to ensure no exposure is possible. Their donning coach, Kelly, checks in with Wendy James about putting on the face shield. It's the final step in a process that took almost 20 minutes. With practice, that time should come down significantly. However, the emphasis will always be on getting it right.

Modernizing our parking payment system - adding the convenience of using a credit card

Pay Stations have been installed in our Emergency Department, main lobby, 73 Delhi and in a shelter outside 125 Delhi St.

New Pay Stations have been installed in the Hospital and new equipment added to the entrances and exits of our gated parking lots. This hardware is being installed to modernize our parking system. When it “goes live” Tuesday, Dec. 9, a significant benefit to those using our lots will be having the option to pay by credit card as well as with cash.

This new system affects staff in two ways. Staff, physicians and volunteers using our gated parking lots will need their ID card to both enter and exit. Second, the gate nearest the physican parking area behind the building will be decommissioned and replaced with a chain. Entry to that physician parking area will be through the main lot.

Similar systems are found in numerous locations around Guelph and pretty much everywhere including at Grand River Hospital. Entering our gated lots, the driver takes a stub from the machine or can use a credit card to “tap” and go. When it comes time to leave, the person has the option of either taking the stub to one of the Pay Stations and using cash or a credit card, or paying directly at the exit gate using a credit card only.

One of four Pay Stations at the Hospital. This one is located near 125 Delhi St. and is protected from the weather with a small shelter.

Once payment is made at a Pay Station a ticket is dispensed for opening the exit gate. That ticket is good for 20 minutes giving the user time to return to their car and exit the lot. If the person forgets to use the Pay Station, a credit card can be used right at the exit gate.
Pay Stations have been installed in the Emergency Department waiting area and in the main lobby by switchboard. In addition, a Pay Station is installed inside 73 Delhi’s main door and one is located outside in a shelter outside 125 Delhi.

The cost for using our lot remains $8 regardless of the length of time parked. However, those who park for less than 20 minutes will be able to exit for free. So, for example, if it turns out all parking spaces are full the driver can exit without paying. Signs will be posted around the parking lots and inside the buildings on how to use the pay system.

We are also installing a “Pay and Display” system to replace all three onsite parking meter areas (two between the Hospital and 125 Delhi and one in front of the Delhi Street entrance). Again, most people will be familiar with using this system of payment since it is used in so many places. The user parks, goes to the Pay and Display machine, prepays for a set amount of time then puts the dispensed ticket face up on the dashboard of their car.

Another benefit from the new system is that it will also generate reports on parking lot usage which will help us develop flexible parking rates in the new year. The new cost of using our lots will based on the amount of time parked which is a fairer way of charging for parking. 

GGH snap shots

Seema Jolly and Dr. Nasser had a poster presentation accepted at the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery Conference this past September.  Dr. Nasser unable to attend so Seema provided a three-minute synopsis about their poster to the vascular surgeons in attendance.  Staff from Royal City Nursery took on the challenge to decorate our tree in the main lobby. Click on the picture above to see how great it looks thanks to the support of our donors and wonderful Volunteer Association too! Union Gas recently dropped off an early Christmas present for the Hospital. It was a cheque for almost $70,000 in recognition our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint by reducing our use of utilities. On hand to receive the cheque on behalf of the Hospital were Rod Carroll, VP HR and Support Services (left) and Rich Smith, Director of Facilities (right).
Our GGH United Way committee was delighted to report that the campaign this year raised $20,400.37! This includes $75 in toilet paper and underwear too!

While those in Finance rarely find themselves in jail, Gavin Webb, VP Finance (right) found himself sharing his cell with Jane Cabral from HR. We're happy to report they were both quickly bailed out by staff donations.

Thanks so very much to everyone who contributed, and congratulations too all our winners.

Helping kick off the United Way campaign was "Everyday Hero." She dropped by to put members of the Senior Team in jail in order to raise donated bail money.

Special thanks to Jackie Beaton who personally knew "EH" and got her to fly in for the event.

Our new Staff and Patient Safety reporting system was launched in October. During the kick off celebration, staff were invited to view the new system and ask questions. They could also enter into a draw for an iPad mini. President and CEO, Marianne Walker (second from right) was on hand to draw the winning entry - Laurie Scheffer, Emergency Department.
It takes a village to carve a pumpkin... Exactly how many of the rehab staff pictured above participated in the carving of the winning pumpkin - Hannibal the Cannibal - we'll never know. What we do know is theirs was the crowd favourite beating out Diagnostic Imaging's "X-ray in Use" entry which came in second. Chef Becky, from 39 Carden Street Bistro, was part of the Healthy Hospital Month, and did a unique Lunch & Learn, and actually cooked a Vegetarian Quinoa Chili for staff from scratch, right in the main lobby! It was Random Acts of Kindness Day on Nov. 7. At GGH, staff from a local legal office, SmithValeriote, stood at the parking lot exit gates and paid for all who left. Thanks SmithValeriote!!


GGH recognized for efforts in nurturing an "exceptional place to work"

Members of our HR Team pose with our recently received award.

“I am delighted to report that Guelph General Hospital has been named one of three Waterloo Area’s “Top Employers” for the third year in a row,” says Marianne Walker, President and CEO. This annual competition is organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employer and recognizes the employers in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph area that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work.

Employers are evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employees project using eight criteria, which have remained consistent since the project’s inception: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

“Being named a top employer is great news,” Marianne says.

According to the judges, the workplace benefits that put GGH in top three included: subsidies for off-site education and no cost in-house programs; help into retirement with phased-in work options and retirement planning assistance; three weeks of paid vacation for new employees; and an on-site fitness facility and massage chairs that are shared among departments.

“For me, it shows how well we are living one of our Strategic Directions: Our Team - creating a respectful, healthy, learning workplace for exceptional people,” says Marianne. ”On behalf of our Board of Directors, myself and the Senior Management Team, congratulations to everyone involved in making GGH a “Top Employer.”

“Our commitment is to continue to make GGH a great place to work because I believe our success is due to the exceptional people who work and volunteer here. I look forward to working with you to continue making it one of the best environments to work in.”

What's happening - in Diagnostic Imaging

GGH's Mike Sharma, Director Diagnostic Imaging (right) has just been elected President of the Ontario Association of Radiology Managers.

"This is a not for profit association for Radiology Management staff to network amongst our peers and learn from one another," says Mike. "We share our knowledge and leadership skills with our membership and address any Radiology-related issues or new initiatives that people are working on. It’s a great outlet to promote what we do and to learn from one another.

As President, I look forward to engaging and inspiring all of our membership and beyond to bring about the best that Imaging can be. I want to help us all to refocus our skills, abilities and knowledge of our great profession"

GGH participates in the Diagnostic Imaging Repository (DI-r). Patients move through the healthcare system; now their images can too. DI-r gives GGH access to DI images and reports from hospitals in LHINS 1,2,3 & 4. This reduces retakes, there's no need to burn and ship CDs and historical exams and reports are available when PACS is down.

"I have found having access to previous imaging greatly improves the quality and accuracy of the radiology reports delivered by our department," says Dr. R Mittal, GGH Radiologist. "The DI-r is certainly a huge step in the right direction for improving quality of care when it comes to patients from a diagnostic imaging point of view."


What's happening - in Materials Management

Materials Management (Purchasing) has been busy lately with a number of just completed awards and contracts in process. There's also quite a few trials and evaluations currently in full swing (see chart below). Purchasing has also been supporting the supply requirements for Ebola preparations at the Hospital.

Are you may be aware, the Stores Department business hours on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and with only one staff member. There are specific duties for the Stores staff on the weekend coverage. Primarily, it is to support and replenish certain care floors including the O.R., Sterile Processing Department, Emergency, Critical Care. Stores staff also just top up the supply carts on 5 West, 4 West and 7 East.

Recently awarded new agreements

Currently Being Reviewed

Forecasted Reviews

Strategy Development Review

Dietary Supplies  - Bowls, Containers, Napkins, Plates, Cups, Plastic Cutlery, Misc. Bags.
Basic Wound – Derma Sciences, 3M, Stevens
Casting Plaster of Paris & Synthetic Products
OR Laser Fibers
Inhalation Solutions, Respiratory Access., Spirometry, CO2 Detectors, Filters, HME, HME Filters and Oral & Nasal Airways 2014
Nursing Sundries
OR Specific Urology
Enteral Feeding Pumps
Housekeeping Supplies – Garbage Bags, Tissue, Toilet Paper
Underpads and Incontinent Products
Monitoring Charts
Non-Infant Nutritional Products
OR Hernia Repair Products
Safety Hypodermic Products
Safety and Conventional Winged IV Sets Butterflies
Negative Pressure Wound Therapy
Fecal (Bowel) Management
Suction System Products
Reusable Sharps Hazardous Waste Containers & Related Services
Hospital Linen and Uniforms
Alternate Vascular  Access Products
OR Gyn Products
OR Thermodilution , Transducers and Co Sets
OR Ligation Products
OR Tissue Coagulation
Endoscopic Consumables
IV Catheters Safety and Non-Safety
Suction System Products
OR Pelvic Support Products

Fostering a culture of recognition - it can be done in many ways 

You can find a board covered with testimonials about the program in the Learning Centre.

We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ~John F. Kennedy

Towards fostering a culture of recognition, GGH’s Healthy Hospital Human Resources Quality Team proposed and developed a hospital-wide Quality Recognition Process in 2009. Within hours of launching the Process we had our first Recognition Award nomination. Today we’ve had 120!

While everyone at GGH is expected to provide quality service and live our values of compassion, accountability, respect and teamwork; it’s important to let others know when their work has made a difference. We can simply say “thanks”. We can say it in writing using a WOW Card. For those among us who go above and beyond - “our shining stars”, we can use a Quality Recognition Award Nomination Form.

These Awards are special because nominators are asked to describe the actions of the Nominee as they relate to one or more nomination categories: Outstanding Service, Exceptional Acts of Kindness, Outstanding Innovation, Excellence in Leadership and Excellence in Sharing Learning. The impact of those actions on patients and/or staff is also described. Those Nominations send powerful messages of gratitude.

Revamped in 2014 our Process has a new slogan – “Recognizing the efforts of others is more than a responsibility. It’s a privilege.”

Here's an example of some to the testimonials the program has received:

Truly a motivating and awesome experience! Makes one feel that the efforts and dedication is indeed recognized and appreciated by GGH! Feel honoured to be part of the GGH family!!

The award was a very positive experience for me! It made me feel very valued in the work I do! and encourages me to continue to give great patient care. Thank you so much.

It is great to be part of a team that recognizes we are all working together & every step counts. Being recognized for something encourages me to bring my best every day so that together we can all be better!

Nature heals...

When Richard Ernst announced his retirement, the professional staff wanted to do something to honour his years of service. Working with the Foundation, they found the perfect project. It’s a partnership with Focus on Nature, a local organization that puts on school workshops, getting kids into nature to take photos.

Thanks to the generous donations of our professional staff, we were able to choose 60 wonderful images to have printed on a special acrylic. In the new year, they’ll be hung in various patient-care areas throughout the Hospital, brightening the walls for patients, families and staff alike.

To the right, a few members of the professional staff celebrate with Richard at a special reception of the “Nature Heals” exhibit, on display at a local studio. You can see a number of the images in the background.

London is calling at this year's Black Tie Bingo


The Foundation’s annual gala, Black Tie Bingo, happens on March 7 and tickets are already going fast. If you’re interested in attending or volunteering, let Linda know at extension 2425 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.