General Express June 2016

Welcoming our new Vice President Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive

Gail Johnson has accepted the position of Guelph General’s Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive effective July 11.  

Gail is an experienced senior nursing leader with 30 years of progressive leadership experience. For the last three years, Gail has been the Vice President, Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive at Norfolk General Hospital and, most recently, also at West Haldimand General Hospital. She was accountable for all Clinical Programs and Services across both hospitals.

Prior to this position, Gail spent most of her career at Hamilton Health Sciences where she was the Site Administrator for Hamilton General Hospital and the Director of the Cardiac and Vascular Program. Gail also worked at the Juravinski site as the Director of the Orthopedics, Medicine and Emergency Programs.

Gail began her career as a diploma nurse, graduating from George Brown in 1987 in Toronto. She believes in lifelong learning as evident by obtaining her undergraduate BScN in 1992 and a Master of Science in 1999. She has held an Assistant Clinical Professor position with the McMaster School of Nursing since 1999 and thoroughly enjoys her teaching responsibilities. She also possesses numerous certifications, most recently in Clinical Risk Management from Osgoode Hall in 2015.

Gail is an extremely passionate, outcome-focused leader. Her enthusiasm and commitment to patient-centred care and interprofessional practice are evident in her track record of success. Her previous experience will assist us towards the implementation of our new strategic plan and help ensure Guelph General Hospital will continue to provide the best and highest quality patient care possible.

Introducing a regular feature for General Express - Living our Strategic Directions

Every issue there'll be an article about one of the initiatives either underway or completed that are supporting our four new Strategic Directions. As a reminder, they are:
  1. Provide the safest and highest quality care
  2. Support our exceptional team
  3. Create a coordinated, high quality system of care with our partners
  4. Sustain our financial health
To read more about the initiatives undertaken this past year to support our Strategic Directions, click here to see the message from Board Chair Bob Carter and President and CEO, Marianne Walker, for this year's Annual General Meeting.
In 2014/15, our rates of “falls with harm” at GGH were already lower than the provincial average. However, we were determined to do even better. Our goal was to decrease falls with harm by 15% by March 2016 and we’d do it by focusing on the medical and surgical units. 

One of the keys to our success was involving groups of interdisciplinary team members along the entire progression of this strategic initiative. As a result, process gaps were addressed. Now, universal fall precautions are provided to all patients when entering the hospital. All Medical and Surgical inpatients are screened every shift for risk of falls. As a result, interventions can be implemented to meet individualized patient risks. Finally, as many different staff interact with patients during their stay, an “EXIT” strategy has been provided to use when with patients since we all have a role in reducing falls.

These changes have provided an increased awareness and positive influence on patient safety.

Our Healthy Hospital survey high response rate is a great indication of staff and physician commitment

Recently, we learned that 956 staff took the time to fill out their Healthy Hospital Employee Survey. That’s a 76% response rate and a fantastic result. It clearly illustrates our commitment to making sure we’re doing our best to provide a healthy working environment. In the end, that positively affects the quality of care our patients receive. A total of 116 professional staff completed the survey too. That’s 62% of potential respondents from that team. 

These are some amazing results that will help us to deeply understand what’s working well and where there may be opportunities to make improvements. This data is so critical to our continued work in supporting staff and keeping Guelph General Hospital a healthy, engaging and safe place to work. 

Our Senior Team is committed to ensuring the results are widely shared and more importantly, the identified opportunities for improvement are acted upon. In early September, the organizational results will be shared widely. Then, Directors will meet with their staff to review both the overall results and the results specific to their department. From that, one or two departmental opportunities for improvement will be identified with VPs ensuring they are implemented. 

This year’s winning survey slogan was, “Have your say!” It’s clear that’s exactly what happened. Congratulations everyone!

New Volunteer Board plus a year-end wrap up

At its annual general meeting this month, our Volunteer Association presented its Board members for the year. In the photo below are (l-r) President, Anna Rielly, Director Business Affairs, Sheila Darnell, Director of Finance, Marion Loree and Past President, Dianne Steinke.

Currently, there are 263 active volunteers including 114 adults,16 high school students and 133 university/college students.

Nearly 17,000 hours were provided this fiscal year with 10,339 in patient care, 4,194 in retail and the rest in administration and fundraising.

Two new permanent programs were introduced this year. The first was expanding the inpatient visiting program into 5W and 6W. The second was the Patient Communication Board program expanding into 5W and 6W.

The Association donated $27,500 to Foundation to purchase a Transport Ventilator Inducer for Critical Care/Respirator Therapy and a Cardiac Probe for our Emergency Department. It also gave $1,000 towards updating the Christmas Décor in the Lobby and $1,000 for two student bursaries.

Volunteer Association Mission Statement:
Guelph General Hospital Volunteers are dedicated to patient-centred care by providing non-medical support and services for patients, staff and visitors in a positive environment. We will ensure all of our activities and interactions will be done with a spirit of compassion, co-operation, teamwork and respect.

Dr. Parent is flanked by two second year Waterloo Regional Campus medical students, Chase Reaume and Stephanie Duquette. Dr. Marcel Doré and Dr. Sherri Lynn Kane (formerly at GGH) were both awarded a Certificate of Merit Award at the Canadian Association of Medical Education Annual Meeting in Montréal.

Award winning doctors at the Hospital

Recently, two doctors at the Hospital were recognized for their work in medical education. 

Dr. Marcel Parent won two 2016 teaching awards, both as voted by the McMaster University Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine Class of 2016. The students cited his enthusiasm, making the most of teachable moments, helping students feel like they are part of the team, his remarkable sense of humour and his attention to detail. 

Dr. Marcel Doré and Dr. Sherri Lynn Kane (formerly at GGH) were both recently awarded a Certificate of Merit Award at the Canadian Association of Medical Education Annual Meeting in Montréal. This award recognizes individuals for significant contributions to medical education.

“Congratulations to both “Marcels” for their awards. Well done!” said Dr. Cary Shafir, Chief of Hospital Medicine at GGH. “We have a lot to celebrate within our department.”

Dr. Doré is also chair of a committee of the Canadian Society of Hospital Medicine that has recently completed a national project that defines the work of medical inpatient physicians (Hospitalists). The 130-page document will be used to train, evaluate and organize Hospitalists across Canada.

Great response rate for the Patient Safety Culture Survey

Helen Martini (pictured) and Jodie Brown-Bedford recently presented the comprehensive results from the Patient Safety Culture Survey.

We had great participation across the hospital with the Patient Safety Culture Survey. Overall, the results show that staff at GGH believe we have a safe environment - especially when compared to results from other Ontario hospitals. Our results have provided us with an opportunity to learn from each other and work together to have the safest and healthiest culture possible.

There does seem to be opportunities to improve. For example, some staff believe that should they commit a serious error, they will be disciplined by management. This belief doesn’t align with our GGH culture which promotes a ‘just/fair culture’ rather than a ‘blame and shame’ approach. So, there will be discussions with staff in their home units to try and gain a better understanding of where that belief comes from and how we can do better. 

With our high response rate from over 470 staff, it’s clear GGH staff believe there was value in participating in the survey, their opinion does count and staff can have an active role in improving patient safety. Concrete actions to guide the improvement will be developed with staff assistance. 

One the action plan is ready it’ll be shared widely. Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill in the survey. 

Another triumphant year for Tour de Guelph! 

This year’s Tour de Guelph was a tremendous success. Now in its third year, there were 664 riders and more than $66,000 was raised for GGH and the Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium! That surpasses the goal of $60,000 and is a huge increase from last year’s total of $40,000. The Hospital’s share of the proceeds will go towards the purchase of a new ultrasound machine.

Hats off to the GGH team (some pictured right) who were the top fundraising team with $6,335. The team included; Suzanne Bone, Janet Chevalier, Ian Digby, Don Huband, Andrew Maykut, Sylvia Rodriguez , Diane Stuart and Marianne Walker.

Special thanks to Linda Craig and the rest of the Foundation team for all their work, along with our Rotary partners.

Featured rider: 77 Years Young and Riding 115 Kilometres for a Good Cause 

There aren’t too many 77-year-olds who would be ambitious enough to bike 115 kilometres in a day, but that is what Guelph’s Mike Diamond did on June 26 as a participant in the 3rd Annual Tour de Guelph.

Riding 115 kilometres at any age is no small feat let alone doing it when many his age may be too nervous to even swing their leg over a bicycle seat.

“I just never stopped, that’s the thing,” replied Mike when asked about his age-defying riding ability.

In fact, on most weeks throughout the summer, Mike will ride close to 150 kilometres. He’s been riding all his life and it became a summer activity he enjoyed with his wife and children. Then, when he was in his 40s, he was inspired by his eldest daughter and registered for his first triathlon – a sport that includes a swim, bike, then a run. Nowadays, he puts the emphasis on swimming and biking as the running is “a little hard on my joints.”

But why ride the longest distance in the Tour de Guelph? Mike explained that his wife has been undergoing cancer treatment since 2012 at Guelph General Hospital. He described the staff and support as being incredibly dedicated, friendly and kind which has really helped his wife get through this difficult time. When Mike learned of the first Tour de Guelph cycle ride in 2014, with his love of cycling, it seemed like the natural thing to do – to register, ride and raise money for the hospital that treats his wife with such care.

Since that first ride in 2014, Mike has participated every year and has already raised a total of $4,040 for the Guelph General Hospital and Rotary Clubs of Guelph South and Guelph Trillium. Last year, he was the event’s top fundraiser. This time round, one of Mike’s daughters and a granddaughter joined him making it a true family affair. 

Gifts of Gratitude - helping patients and families say "thanks!"

Gifts of Gratitude is a way to show appreciation to a GGH healthcare worker who showed great care. It is a special donation and a true honor to receive.

Shown in this photo, Foundation CEO Suzanne Bone presents the latest recipients with a gratitude pin - Dr. Alex Ferguson and Dr. Sid Sahay. Both are Emergency Department physicians.

Learn more about Gifts of Gratitude on the FGGH website

Annual Meeting 2015/2016
Message from Board Chair, Bob Carter and President and CEO, Marianne Walker

It was another memorable year for Guelph General Hospital (GGH) – one that set our course for the future when our Board of Directors approved a new Vision, Mission, Values and a three-year Strategic Plan. These were developed in part from the engagement initiatives that resulted in over 600 members from both the community and the Hospital providing input. Our new Vision - Exceptional Care Innovative Partnerships Healthier Communities - inspires us and builds upon our foundation of what matters most – providing exceptional care with our partners and supporting our exceptional team.

With our Strategic Plan providing the focus, detailed plans were developed and several implemented over the past year. All are alignment with our four Strategic Directions:

  1. Provide the safest and highest quality care
  2. Support our exceptional team
  3. Create a coordinated, high quality system of care with our partners
  4. Sustain our financial health.

There has been much to celebrate over the past year with many outstanding results achieved by our exceptional teams at GGH along with community partners. Here are just a few examples from a very long list.

Provide the safest and highest quality care

Consistent with engaging our patients and families/caregivers as active partners in the care team, in 2015/16 we introduced a welcoming environment for family and caregivers. Patients now decide who and when they would like visitors to assist with care or provide support. This new practice is well received by our patients.

In April 2015, we introduced a new tradition at the Hospital. We greet the birth of each new baby by playing a short overhead chime. This initiative is a gesture of hope and makes a positive improvement in how patients, families and our staff experience GGH.

Our exceptional teams have worked hard over the past year to improve access to services and patient safety. Our Emergency Department (ED) wait times remained one of the top ten in the province and in January 2016 we ranked 2nd in the province for our ED wait times. This could not be achieved without our entire GGH team and partners working together.

With the generosity of our major donor, we added a new Nuclear Medicine program to complement our suite of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. It provides our clinicians with the most comprehensive and complete imaging package that benefits the people of Guelph and the surrounding regions.

Nuclear medicine is used to diagnose and determine the severity of, or treat, a variety of diseases. These include many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders and other abnormalities within the body.

Over the past year, we made significant progress in reducing patient harm by improving medication management and reducing falls with injuries. This was achieved by our teams improving protocols and purchasing new equipment. Over 300 new, wireless IV pumps were brought in to replace our older ones. The new pumps make it easy for the nurse to program the pump and deliver the medication or fluid appropriately. They reduce the chance of medication error.

There are 300 different medications that can be delivered via the pumps and information about dosages for each is pre-programmed. When there is a change or an addition to make, the old pumps needed to be individually reprogrammed. With the new pumps, changes can be updated wirelessly to the entire fleet with the push of a button.

This important initiative was also made possible through the generous support of our wonderful donors.

Support our exceptional team

“Our goal is to make Guelph General Hospital one of the safest hospitals in Ontario.” With the implementation of a long list of recommendations from a hospital-wide security audit completed last year, GGH is well on its way to achieving that goal.

Tragically, even before the audit had been completed, the entire Hospital was impacted by the terrible event in our Emergency Department early in the year. While it profoundly saddened everyone, it also strengthened our resolve to make the Hospital one of the safest in Ontario for patients, visitors, staff and volunteers. Since then, a multitude of new security measures have been introduced as recommended by the audit. These include:

  • Increasing the number and qualifications of the security personnel in the department
  • Adding more personal alarms for individual staff
  • Installing 46 security cameras with a video feed to the nursing stations and security desks
  • Modifying 30 doors in the department that provide controlled access requiring a staff card
  • Additional safety and security training.

This is just the beginning of supporting our exceptional team and building on the strengths to enhance the health and well-being of our team. We have a lot more planned for 2016/17.

Create a coordinated, high quality system of care with our partners

Over the past year, we engaged our partners to develop a plan that will improve the services, transitions in care and patient outcomes related to chronic conditions and mental health and addiction services.

In collaboration with many clinicians from other health care organizations, we started our work on improving outcomes for patients who experience Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We look forward to working with our partners to improve the lives of people who live with COPD.

As a result of a comprehensive review of emergency mental health services in Guelph and Wellington County, changes to improve access to mental health and addiction services have already been implemented. These changes include; reduced psychiatric assessment wait time, creation of a medical stabilization form and the creation of an inter-hospital bed access registry that reduces access time for an available bed within our LHIN. In addition, our Emergency Department is creating two “safe rooms” where patients can be cared for while offering a safe environment for both patients and staff. These should be completed by mid August. We continue working with our partners to improve our emergency mental health services.

Thanks to our amazing team, we were recognized and congratulated by the Trillium Gift of Life Network for our close partnership with them in organ donation. GGH had been responsible for three organ donors and 15 eye donors. This resulted in four life-saving transplants including two kidney transplants and two liver transplants. In addition, the sight of up to 30 individuals was restored and up to 75 more individuals received the gift of multi-tissue from 23 tissue donors.

Sustain our financial health.

This year ended with a financial surplus thanks to the efforts of many across the organization. A heightened focus on reducing sick days and overtime resulted in significant savings.

Money was also saved in our surgery department thanks to the combined efforts of physicians, nurses, purchasing and others. By looking for efficiencies in how we manage our wide array of surgical supplies, substantial savings were realized. Throughout the organization, staff and physicians worked hard to identify and implement ways of saving money without affecting our high quality care. All efforts contributed to a year-end budget surplus of over a million dollars. That money will be reinvested in our capital projects.

Thank You

We could not provide excellent care or achieve excellent results without the support of our community and many donors. We are truly grateful for their generosity. For example, this past year’s Black Tie Bingo raised a record-setting $255,000. It will be used for an exciting new project to electronically connect vital sign monitors to patient records.

We feel privileged to be working with such talented and dedicated people. We want to thank all of the staff, professional staff, volunteers, our Foundation and partners for their ongoing commitment and support that resulted in another successful year. We look forward to working together in the year to come to improve the health and lives of our community

We would like to acknowledge and express our appreciation for the many years of contribution and dedication of our departing Board of Directors:

Christine Billings    2004-2016

John Core             2007-2016

Jeff Kawakami      2001-2016

Allan McInnis        2008-2016

Paul Mendonca      2015-2016

Eileen Bain            2003-2016

Respectfully submitted;

Robert Carter                                                              Marianne Walker
Chair, Board of Directors                                            President and CEO  

return to top