General Express December 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like.....                                                                     (click photos to enlarge)

It started with the IT department doing a great job decorating its door then challenging other departments to follow suit.
Administration soon joined in with its themed, "Which Elf on the Shelf is watching you?" The heads of the decorative elves were replaced with Admin. and Senior Leadership Team ID photos.
Employee Health made sure its door didn't go unadorned. Its "Lessons from a Christmas Tree" shared nuggets of holiday advice. 
Not to be outdone in the creative department, Decision Support went 3D with its snowman decoration.
Lori Muzak McComb in the Foundation came up with an interactive display. Everyone is invited to drop by and be one of Santa's elves!
Clinical Information Services took decorating to the next level with its Gingerbread House theme. Not only are the decorations handmade but some are homemade too - as in real gingerbread men cookies. The tastiest decorations around!
What's the holidays without a visit from the Christmas couple themselves? According to Mrs. Claus (GGH's Fran Hood, right), Santa is Rob Stark who was visiting a couple of fellow church goers who happened to have just given birth at GGH. The photo was supplied by Cindy Brooks, GGH retiree from our Special Care Nursery and proud new grandmother.

Holding a mock Code Black helped test our level of emergency preparedness (click photos to enlarge)

As a part of our emergency preparedness, on Nov. 22 we held a mock Code Black exercise. Guelph Police Services were on hand to portray their role as if it were a real situation. Throughout the facility, 40 observers were placed to keep eyes and ears on the activity being conducted by departments, in hallways and entrances. 
Following the hospital-wide exercise, leadership was given the opportunity to talk through the potential next steps which would include the potential of an evacuation. Overall, the exercise was a great success provided a lot of feedback and identified areas where there’s opportunities to improve.
Thanks to everyone who prepared and participated in the exercise. You helped make GGH a safer place!
The exercise was organized by Dawn Miller, our Health and Safety Officer. Here, she gives last-minute instructions to the official observers of the event.
Due to the nature of the exercise, it was important to keep members of the general public informed to avoid creating any anxiety. Greeters were stationed at every public entrance along with highly visible, plainly worded signs. The feedback was quite positive. No one became alarmed and some were appreciative of the exercise being held.
One of the first steps after calling the Code is to create our Incident Management Team. Safety vests with large labels signifying individual roles were handed out.  The process and procedure for every code is available on our Intranet. Here, 4 West checks to see what are the next steps. Switchboard plays a vital role in coordinating and facilitating communication both inside the organization and with the general public. With the full IMS team assembled, every role has been assigned and the work begins. The team will stay in place until the "all clear" is announced.
It turned out the suspicious package was in the chapel. Staff from Social Work found it during their room-to-room sweep. Based on the location of the package, Guelph Police Services uses schematics of the building to show the IMS what areas would have to be evacuated.  A part of the exercise is to hold immediate debriefings while things are still fresh. Here, 5 West shares their lessons learned with an observer. Code Blacks aren't normally a lighthearted affair. However, it did happen to coincide with Barb Cuoto's (centre) last day of work before retiring.

Congratulations are in order to our lab team for their accreditation

Recently, assessors from the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare (IQMH, formerly Ontario Laboratory Accreditation) were on-site at GGH to conduct a Peer Accreditation Assessment. For our lab, this is required every four years.

Our GGH Laboratory was assessed against 503 standards (based on ISO 15189 Standards) across the five main laboratory departments (Hematology, Chemistry, Transfusion Medicine, Pathology, and Microbiology) as well as Laboratory Administration and Point of Care Testing.

The accreditation results for the lab were exceptional.  

The final assessment report issued by IQMH showed GGH is fully compliant with 490 standards. There were 12 standards for which we received a “minor” non-conformance citation and one standard where we received a “major” non-conformance.  Laboratory staff are now working to create an action plan to correct the non-conformances.

This excellent result demonstrates the dedication of the entire laboratory team and their commitment to quality and continuous quality improvement. Thanks and congratulations to all of the lab staff!!

GGH Snap shots

The Winner of the fitbit for the 30-Day Walking Challenge was Sarah Hafuth (left) in Switchboard. She's presented with her prize by Amber Gillespie, Occupational Health Nurse in Employee Health. She organized the challenged and was pleased to report that 60 staff participated. Large groups of staff are now learning hands-on techniques provided by Gentle Persuasive Approach training. It focuses on behavioral strategies for those with Dementia/Delirium and who may be exhibiting what is called responsive behaviours. GGH was once again honoured by the Trillium Gift of Life Foundation for our dedication to helping improve organ and tissue donation in Ontario and saving lives through transplantation. Comments at the event focused on the strength of our team. Diagnostic Imaging recently held an open house in honour of Medical Radiation Technologists Week. On display were our new ultrasound machines which wowed all those in attendance with their sophisticated capabilities. 

While not technically a snap shot from GGH, the above photos do have a strong connection! Earlier this year we replaced 30 of our beds. Many of our old ones were transported to Jamaica to be reused thanks to a program organized by Dr. Errett who is Chief of Cardiac Surgery at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. Recently, he was kind enough to send us pictures of our beds now in place. 

He also wrote, "I visited three hospitals where the beds had been placed but they were unoccupied. A large number of patients had been discharged in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. I can assure you your beds are greatly appreciated. They are so much better (above photo) than the ones (below photo) they had placed in a new 20-bed ward which was just completed."

At our annual Long Term Service recognition dinner, we celebrated and recognized staff including professional staff for their over 3,000 years of services at GGH! Both Deb de Boer (left) and Suzanne Bone (middle) from the Foundation were marking their 25 years. Both are relative newbies when compared with Joyce Rolph who was celebrating 30 years at the Hospital!  OK. Couldn't resist one more holiday-related picture. This was taken at the recent Breakfast with Santa. Getting a kick out of being on Santa's lap was Georgina Schilling of the Medical Device Reprocessing Department (formerly SPD).

Collaboration leads to improved care for at-risk patients

To mark Osteoporosis Month, the success of our Fracture Clinic Screening Program was celebrated.
On hand to accept the Certificate of Achievement were (l-r) Dr. MacKenzie, Ravi Jain, Arlene Mitchell and Merle Seegmiller.
First started in 2007, the program is designed to reduce the risk of re-fractures by making sure patients at risk for osteoporosis get assessed and treated. The program targets patients 50 and older who already have a fragility fracture.
GGH’s Fracture Prevention Coordinator, Arlene Mitchell, helps identify at-risk patients in the Fracture Clinic. She provides education and helps facilitate assessment and treatment. A key diagnostic tool for the assessment is a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test. It is used to diagnose bone loss and osteoporosis, see how well osteoporosis medicine is working, and predict the risk of future bone fractures.
In 2014, GGH introduced a BMD fast track program for high-risk patients. So far, it has referred about 150 patients to quickly receive this important test. The right preventative interventions can then be determined and the patient is directed to the most appropriate community partners for on-going support and preventive measures.
There’s more than just the hospital involved to ensure success. “It takes a community to provide the best care for these patients,” said Merle Seegmiller, GGH’s Director of Ambulatory Care, Cardiorespiratory and Bariatric Clinic. She explained how the involvement of the various healthcare partners along with properly coordinated care can significantly improve the patients’ ability to prevent future fractures.
At the celebration, Ravi Jain, Director, Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy with Osteoporosis Canada presented a Certificate of Achievement to Arlene and Dr. Mackenzie, a program champion, for their hard work in making the program such a success at GGH.
GGH shares its success with its program partners, Osteoporosis Canada, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the Ontario Orthopaedic Association because it's the collaboration across all partners that make the program possible.

Hospital Adding to Ethics Resources

GGH is in the process of joining the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant Regional Ethics Network (HNHB REN) located in Hamilton Health Science’s Office of Clinical & Organizational Ethics.   

Its mission is to enhance patient care by strengthening clinical and organizational ethics capacity across the HNHB LHIN Regional Partners. The vision of the Regional Ethics Network is, “Bringing ethics to life in healthcare!”   

Just a few benefits of membership are:

Networking and Resource Sharing
- Access to Hamilton Health Sciences’ Office of Clinical & Organizational Ethics resources, tools and expertise; recognized as a leading practice by Accreditation Canada for integrating ethics bedside to boardroom

- Support of Regional Partners in meeting Accreditation Canada standards related to ethics

Ethics Capacity Building
- Access to HHS and McMaster University Ethics Grand Rounds (monthly) 
- Support for the development of local ethics capacity, including starting a new or revitalizing an existing ethics committee

Ethics Consultation
- Support for clinical and organizational ethics consultation by regional ethicist
- Support for the development of a regional ethics consultation service

Privacy Matters

Protecting patient privacy is a group effort. We need to make sure every fax is going to the correct destination. Before you push the button to send a fax, always check the fax number is current, check to whom it is going, and double-check your entry of the fax number.
For fax numbers that are programmed into your fax machine, verify the fax number is still correct at minimum every April (Privacy Month) and September. Our patients are depending on us.


 Foundation Snap Shots
Val Taylor (left) and Margaret Eggleton-Kaye (right) from the Village By The Arboretum Theatre Group presented the Foundation’s Linda Craig (centre left) and Suzanne Bone with a cheque representing partial proceeds from their 2016 Christmas Cabaret. This is the sixth year Cabaret proceeds have helped make a difference at Guelph General Hospital!
The Foundation's Rob Cameron recently presented Kayla Belanger (left photo) with her second pin from the Gift of Gratitude program. In the right photo, Linda Craig from the Foundation presented CT volunteer, Kim Fairfull with a pin too.
The Gifts of Gratitude Programs helps patients and families directly show their appreciation for one of our caregivers and is a great way for them to say “thank you."
Seventeen-year-old Kurtis Lammer (right) demonstrated a great deal of tenacity while imagining and then creating UNIT 6 Haunted House as a fundraiser for the hospital.
Over three weekends, more than 2,000 people came out to be frightfully entertained. By the end, he set a new record for the most funds raised for the Hospital by a single third-party event - $40,865!

Donor wanted to make sure her caregivers knew how much they were appreciated

Janet Bennett was a patient at GGH this year. Her husband Graham had also been a patient, as had many of their friends. Janet was grateful for the care received and made two Gifts of Gratitude to say “thank you” to those who looked after her. Janet was very clear that she wanted her gifts to help the staff who had been so good to her. She mentioned entire teams and also individuals who made a difference to her, sometimes with the smallest of gestures. (We find that’s often the case – it’s the warm blanket, special smile or reassuring voice that can mean the most and be remembered by our patients and their families.)

Her first Gift of Gratitude, made in 2015, was directed to the Stroke Unit, and enabled the purchase of three ceiling-mounted patient lifts to help staff care for their patients. The second, made earlier this year, was split between the Emergency Department and 7 East. It will help to purchase of a variety of equipment. Those honoured by Janet were part of the decisions about which equipment was to be funded. 

Sadly, Janet passed away late last month. Her obituary noted that family and friends were Janet’s two greatest treasures, and that many will have fond memories of the scrumptious meals, lively fun and conversation around the always welcoming table.  And “the best shortbread ever!” at Christmas! 

Her family will miss her. And so will we. 

Paediatric patient visits to the Hospital will be a bit brighter thanks to Smilezone

In mid November, we celebrated alongside the Smilezone Foundation, the opening of seven Smilezones throughout the Hospital.
Smilezones are bright and cheery spaces that help put smiles on the faces of paediatric patients at the Hospital. The Hospital sees and treats about 14,000 paediatric patients each year across its Paediatrics Unit, Linamar Emergency Department and Fracture Clinic within the Hasenfratz Ambulatory Care Unit.
Julie Brown Hallman and husband Mark Hallman check out one of the many murals installed.
The Smilezone installations are so much more than fun pictures on a wall, explained Shannon Maier, Clinical Director of Maternal Newborn & Paediatric Services. They also serve a clinical purpose. “For children who are suffering, the pictures help distract them and there is clinical evidence this can help reduce the child’s perceived level of pain.”
Distracting a child while in hospital has huge benefit says parents who’ve had first-hand experience. At the event, Julie Brown Hallman and husband Mark Hallman shared their personal story and testimony to the difference these spaces can make. They’ve spent a lot of time between McMaster and GGH with their son Desmond. “It does make a difference when there is something colourful and engaging on the wall,” said Julie. “it’s always helped in every place we’ve been to because it occupies and distracts them.”
The grand opening celebration of GGH’s Smilezones was extra special Scott Bachly, Smilezone’s Co-Founder and Chairman said.  "On behalf of Smilezone Foundation’s Board of Directors, we are thrilled with the seven new installations at Guelph General Hospital. This has been a very special installation for us as it marks our 100th Smilezone, and we’ve been fortunate to have such incredible partners in the Guelph Storm and LJ Pearson Foundation.”
    Numerous dignitaries including             members from the Guelph Storm           were on hand to mark the Smilezone     milestone with a ribbon cutting.

In fact, it was the first time in Smilezone’s history that two donors came together to fund a Smilezone project. One donor, Larry Pearson, said, “as a multi-generational Guelph family it is wonderful to be part of a project that will improve the lives and hospital experiences for young children.”

Representing the Guelph Storm, owner Rick Gaetz spoke about the Storm’s involvement. "We are extremely pleased to be partnered with the Hospital and Smilezone for this incredible transformation which in a small way will make a hospital visit more pleasant for the children of Guelph and the surrounding areas.” Rick went on to say he hopes this project will be a stimulus for the Storm to do even more at the Hospital.

The project reinforced the importance to the Hospital of community support, said  Suzanne Bone, CEO of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital. She reminisced on the process that started with the first meeting with Larry and Hospital President and CEO Marianne Walker to talk about the possibility of Smilezones at the Hospital. Next was the walk through the hospital identifying the spaces to be transformed. “Then, on November 4 the crew arrived and over a single weekend, the spaces were completely transformed.” The results were so positive, the adults were smiling too.