hdhEnews issue: December 16, 2015

Christmas Message:  The Work of Christmas
Making a list and checking it twice:  Volunteers tick off seasonal gifts
Online lab order entry targets patient safety, streamlined service

Royal Bank of Canada grant supports children’s mental health

Christmas Message:  The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
     to find the lost,
     to heal those broken in spirit,
     to feed the hungry,
     to release the oppressed,
     to rebuild the nations,
     to bring peace among all peoples,
     to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins. 
Howard Thurman (adapted)

At Hotel Dieu Hospital, we are grateful for the healing work—in body, mind and spirit—entrusted to us every day.  May you and your loved ones enjoy the blessings of this Christmas season and may the spirit—and the work—of Christmas guide you in the coming year.

Michael Hickey, Chair, Board of Directors
Dr. David Pichora, Chief Executive Officer

Volunteer Services cheque presentation

Making a list and checking it twice:  Volunteers tick off seasonal gifts.

Hospital volunteers ticked some big items off their seasonal giving list on Dec. 14 when they announced several generous contributions in support of excellent patient care at Hotel Dieu Hospital. 

At the December Christmas gathering, the Volunteers presented a cheque for $50,000 to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, the second installment of a $100,000 pledge made last year.  Last year’s $50,000 installment was matched by the Larry Gibson Community Fund, with all the funds supporting a project to relocate the Ear, Nose and Throat Department into the main hospital.  This year’s $50,000 will assist with the purchase of general patient care equipment across hospital programs and services, says Volunteer Services President Carol Hazell, with the designation of the monies being determined early in the new year.

The Volunteers further celebrated the season by contributing $10,000 to the Child Development Centre (CDC), a donation that will enrich a special fund used by CDC therapists to help with the financial cost of equipment for kids with special needs.  Last year, for example, the fund provided a financial boost to familes who needed to purchase custom orthotics, writing aids and assistive devices. In addition, the Volunteers presented the hospital's Child Life program with $3500 to help continue its vital work of empowering young patients who are facing or living with health problems.

Photo:  Carol Hazell (red sweater), President of Volunteer Services, presents cheques to Shannon Coull (l) and Denise Cumming (centre) of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation; members of the Child Development Centre team; and  Julie Nedvidek, representing the Child Life program.

Phlebotomist checks out new electronic Lab Order Entry systemOnline lab order entry targets patient safety, streamlined service

In a case of less is more, Hotel Dieu Hospital has implemented a new, more streamlined system for its specimen collection process, a change geared to improving patient safety and specimen turnaround time.

Previously, the hospital used information on a patient’s paper lab requisition to generate a label for specimen tubes used in blood and urine collection.  The specimen was then sent to the clinical laboratory at Kingston General Hospital where the label was removed, an electronic order placed into the Patient Care System and another, barcoded label attached to the specimen for reading by analytical lab instruments. 

“We wanted to improve that process primarily because it carried the risk of labeling errors and also because it duplicated work tasks for staff, which wasn’t the most efficient use of our resources,” says Joyce deVette-McPhail, Director, Clinical Laboratory Services at KGH.

Now, that first labeling step has been eliminated.  Instead, Hotel Dieu phlebotomists can perform lab order entry (LOE) electronically when they collect the specimen and create a single, instrument-ready label on the spot.  The specimen lands at KGH ready for processing.  In December, the new system was rolled out in three specimen collection areas at Hotel Dieu:  Pre-Surgical Screening, Brock 1 and Jeanne Mance 5.

“Hotel Dieu already successfully utilizes an online LOE system in its Urgent Care Centre,” says deVette-McPhail.  “Expanding the system will capture almost 90 per cent of the hospital’s blood and urine specimens and help to standardize the practice for order entry."

As the project unfolds, she says, various performance measures, including safe reporting data and turnaround times, will be monitored. 

“Our priorities are to improve patient safety by reducing the risk of labeling errors and to improve patient satisfaction by getting results back more quickly to clinicians and patients,” she saysl.  “This is a quality improvement project that supports Hotel Dieu’s commitment to excellent patient care.”

Photo:  Phlebotomist Shelta Jackson checks out new electronic Lab Order Entry system at Hotel Dieu.

Royal Bank donation cheque presentationRoyal Bank of Canada grant supports children’s mental health 

On Dec. 9, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Foundation confirmed a $25,000 grant to support Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Hotel Dieu Hospital and the program’s care partners at Pathways for Children & Youth Kingston.

Currently, referrals are often made to both Hotel Dieu and Pathways, resulting in children and youth in need of care being on two waitlists. The RBC grant will help to streamline the referral process. Referrals from community and hospital physicians can then be triaged so young patients receive timely treatment in the right setting—whether through community-based services at Pathways or outpatient mental health at Hotel Dieu.

“The benefits of children getting mental health care faster and in the right setting are wonderful,” says Dr. Sarosh Khalid-Khan, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Hotel Dieu. “All of us here at Hotel Dieu are grateful for the chance to improve care for these patients.”

The welcome grant is a tremendous opportunity to improve care for a special patient population, says Denise Cumming, Executive Director of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. “With RBC's help,” she says, “these patients will have faster access to service and less uncertainty about their wait times. It’s an investment in improved quality of life.”

RBC has provided more than $20 million to children’s mental health organizations dedicated to helping kids and families get the programs and resources they need. This is the first time they have made a grant to Kingston’s hospitals.

“We understand the toll mental illness can take on youth and their families, as well as the workplace, school and our communities,” says Carrie Batt, RBC Vice President Kingston Quinte Commercial Financial Services.  “That’s why we are committed to supporting access to care for young people through Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Hotel Dieu Hospital and Pathways for Children & Youth Kingston.”

Photo:  Representatives from RBC, Pathways for Children & Youth Kingston and the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation celebrate RBC's generous gift.