hdhEnews issue: June 25, 2013

Inside this issue:

Hotel Dieu Hospital celebrates year of expansion
Doctors now charting electronically in Urgent Care Centre
$13.6 million donated to UHKF in support of Kingston’s hospitals
Pre-Surgical Screening: A showcase program at Hotel Dieu
Suited for spotting the gaps in the patient care experience
Love to golf? Join our hospitals as they tee up for mental health 
Now listen up! Audiology display chronicles history of hearing aid

Hotel Dieu Hospital celebrates year of expansion

At its Annual Business Meeting on June 24, 2013, the Board of Directors of Hotel Dieu Hospital celebrated a year of expansion that solidly positioned Hotel Dieu as a leading ambulatory care hospital within the province.

“This was a year in which we wrapped up a $20 million redevelopment project that brought more than 50,000 new specialized clinic visits to our facility, completed a successful accreditation and introduced Patient Experience Advisors to help us understand what matters most to patients and families when they come through our doors,” said Board Chair Sherri McCullough.

“We also boosted services to support patients living with chronic pain and youth struggling with a mental health crisis, and we enlarged the footprint of our eye clinic to accommodate escalating volumes of patients. At the same time, we embedded additional best practices and standards throughout the organization to ensure we’re providing the safest, evidence-based care.

“It was a year of remarkable growth that truly advanced our vision of excellence in ambulatory care for the people of this region.”

At the meeting, the Board of Directors confirmed that Mrs. McCullough will serve as Board Chair and Michael Hickey as Vice-Chair for 2013/2014.

The Members of the hospital Corporation have re-appointed Lola Hulton as the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer. As appointed by the Members of the Corporation the Board of Directors are: Eric Bennett, Robert Boucher, George Caron, Alan Cosford, Sister Joan Kalchbrenner, Peter Milliken and Peter O’Brien. Sister Rosemarie Kugel is an honorary Board Member.

In addition, the following individuals will serve as voting ex-officio Directors: Peter Candlish (past Chair), Caroline Manley (representative of the Archbishop of Kingston) and Dr. Richard Reznick (Representative of the Principal of Queen’s University). Non-voting ex-officio Directors include Dr. David Pichora (Chief Executive Officer), Michael McDonald (Chief of Patient Care/Chief Nursing Executive), Dr. Dale Mercer (Chief of Medical & Academic Affairs); Dr. Vladimir Kratky (President, Medical Staff) and Dr. Jay Engel (Vice President, Medical Staff).

To view the hospital’s 2012-2013 Annual Report, click HERE.


Doctors now charting electronically in Urgent Care Centre

New electronic charting in the Urgent Care Centre at Hotel Dieu and Emergency Department (ED) at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is geared to improving patient care and safety and to following patients to their next stop.

The latest phase of the Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) has just rolled out at Hotel Dieu and KGH, and now physicians and residents are putting aside pens and paper to chart electronically instead.

“This is a big change in process for physicians but it’s an important one as it will contribute to better patient care,” says Dr. Paul Dungey, emergency physician. “The patient’s chart tells their medical story from the moment they arrive inside our doors. Up until now, our handwritten documentation hasn’t always been as legible or clear as it needed to be.”

Physicians are now joining nurses and respiratory therapists (RTs) in the Urgent Care and Emergency departments who made the change over to electronic charting last summer. Now all of their notes will be combined into one comprehensive chart for each patient that can quickly be accessed and updated. The system also electronically displays all the tests ordered for each patient and quickly alerts the staff when the results are ready.

Once the patient is ready to leave the department, this electronic charting will now follow them. If they are admitted to an inpatient bed at KGH, for example, EDIS will send the ED chart directly into the Patient Care System (PCS) where it will be immediately available. If the patient is discharged, then the system will generate and print a “Primary Care Provider Visit Summary” that’s ready to be sent to the patient’s Primary Care Provider.

Importantly, EDIS also creates a “Patient Visit Summary” for patients themselves. Along with the details of their visit, it highlights any medical instructions they need to follow with regards to pharmaceutical prescriptions or booking follow-up appointments, for example.

“Being in the Urgent Care or ED is a stressful situation for patients and their families, and these summaries have been designed to give them as much information and support as possible once they leave the hospital,” says Cindy Bolton, EDIS project manager.

The EDIS project still has one more phase to go. Next up is expanding what the system does to include online order entry, including imaging and laboratory orders.

Article courtesy of KGH Today.


$13.6 million donated to UHKF in support of Kingston’s hospitals

The generosity of people from across southeastern Ontario was front and centre at the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation’s 7th annual Community Celebration event on June 18. Nearly 200 people were on hand to help the fundraising arm for Kingston’s hospitals celebrate the record $13.6 million donated in 2012-13.

“Everywhere I look, I see the impact that our donors have had on patient care: new care facilities, advanced diagnostic equipment, world-class expertise gained through education, and new approaches to care developed through research,” said Denise Cumming, UHKF Executive Director. “It’s remarkable to see what a difference can be made through generosity, and I’m proud to be part of such a caring community.”

For more about the Foundation’s year-end report and about this year’s recipients of the Davies Awards for Philanthropic Leadership, click HERE.


Pre-Surgical Screening: A showcase program at Hotel Dieu

Given its reputation for excellence in preparing patients for surgery, it’s not surprising that the Pre-Surgical Screening (PSS) program located at Hotel Dieu has been busy hosting site visits from other Ontario hospitals lately.

In May, PSS hosted tours for St Joseph’s Health Care London and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, hospitals in the process of either developing or upgrading surgical screening programs at their own sites. What they saw, says Program Manager Mary McKay, is a service that is unusual in our health care system.

“We prepare patients for surgery at both Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospital,” she says. “That concept of a solo site for two facilities is relatively rare in Canada, especially given the wide spectrum of surgical procedures we cover for both adult and pediatric patients.”

PSS exists to ensure that patients enter the Operating Room optimized for surgery. That happens through a thorough clinical evaluation and diagnostic testing (e.g., x-rays, blood work) geared to reducing the risk of surgical complications. Such preparation, in turn, plays a huge role in a surgical program’s operational efficiency— there are fewer late starts or cancellations when patients are moving smoothly in and out of the OR.

The face of PSS changed in 2003-2004 when it revamped its program to standardize guidelines and policies and to introduce a clinical assessment tool—now the gold standard—used by nurses to assess pre-surgical patients. Completed on site or by telephone, the four-page document captures everything from the patient’s medical history to relevant lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, drinking) to whether they would like to see a pastoral care worker over the surgical experience.

The program also pruned unnecessary and duplicate diagnostic testing such as blood work and x-rays, a burden to patients and to the health care system. Overall, the program signalled its new direction with a name change, swapping “Pre-Admission Services” for “Pre-Surgical Screening.”

“The emphasis shifted from testing to screening,” says anesthesiologist Dr. Janet Van Vlymen, PSS Medical Director. “We wanted to focus on the nursing assessment, appropriate diagnostic testing and education so patients knew what to expect before and after surgery. And we wanted to use the same process for all patients, those coming for outpatient procedures as well as ones that would require a hospital stay.”

The shift in emphasis paid off. Patient satisfaction rates increased because patients felt better prepped for surgery, diagnostic testing became more efficient and the ORs experienced fewer cancellations and late starts, good news for patients, families and staff alike.

More recently, PSS had a physical facelift when the area was freshly painted, furnished (watch for the brilliant red chairs) and decorated with striking nature photography donated by a member of staff. A comfortable waiting area with a big flat-screen television has been created for patients waiting to see an anesthesiologist.

It all contributes to a quiet, calming atmosphere that helps anxious patients, says Mary, and staff have benefited from a morale boost as well.

“Patient and family-centred care is central to our program,” she says. “It drives everything from how we work with patients to make sure they’re ready for a surgery to how we create the best setting for delivering that care.

“Let’s face it—having surgery is stressful. We work hard to help patients and families move as safely, efficiently and comfortably through the process as possible. Pre-Surgical Screening has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, and we’re delighted that it’s becoming a showcase program.”


Suited for spotting the gaps in the patient care experience

No stranger to Hotel Dieu as a patient, Sharon Noseworthy is now putting 13 years of hospital observations to good use as one of the hospital’s new Patient Experience Advisors (PEAs).

Noticing the gaps as patients, families and staff interact and move around the hospital comes as second nature to Sharon, whose work background includes helping people trying to overcome barriers to re-employment.

“I know how much it means to people to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be part of the process rather than outside of it,” says Sharon, whose patient advocacy bent has led her to make contact with organizations such as the Health Council of Canada and the Patients’ Association.

“It’s important to have a system of integrated health care,” she says, “where all the pieces fit together for patients and families.”

At Hotel Dieu, Sharon sits on the Patient Safety Council, where her input has played a role in smoothing the flow of patient traffic in busy clinics through adjustments to signage, seating, self-registration kiosks and at least one registration desk.

“At times I’m invited to tour areas of the hospital and comment on their physical layout,” she says. “One thing I’ve noticed is too many signs, which can be confusing for patients. In one instance, I suggested simplifying things by using a physical divider that made patients stop and read a single message on the attached sign. In the same area, I also spotted a large blank wall that would be a great canvas for clear directional signage.”

She is also providing feedback on the process of getting appointment slips to patients with sight problems and she co-chairs a new hospital committee that disperses small grants to projects that enhance patient and family-centred care at Hotel Dieu.

“Everyone tries their best but we can all get into routines that make it hard to see how something could work differently and perhaps better from the patient angle,” says Sharon.

“Being a Patient Experience Advisor is one way to make a difference in our health care system. It’s tangible, hands-on work, and it’s satisfying to suggest changes from a patient perspective and then see them enacted.”

For more information about the Patient Experience Advisor role at Hotel Dieu Hospital, click HERE.


Love to golf? Join our hospitals as they tee up for mental health

One of Kingston’s longest-running and most prestigious charity golf tournaments hits the greens on July 12 in support of mental health programs across all three Kingston hospitals.

This year, the legacy of the Hotel Dieu Invitational Tournament continues under the enthusiastic leadership of the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation’s GenerationNext, a growing community of young philanthropists and volunteer leaders who champion the care provided at Hotel Dieu, Kingston General Hospital and Providence Care.

GenerationNext invites golfers to support mental health programs across all three hospitals by teeing off on Friday, July 12 at the Loyalist Golf & Country Club in Bath. Registration and lunch begin at 11 am with a shotgun start at 12:30 pm.

Your $200 registration includes 18 holes of golf, individual play or non-competitive play, shared power cart, use of driving range, lunch and dinner, a commemorative gift and great prizes!

For more information, visit www.uhkf.ca or call 613.549.5452


Now listen up! Audiology display chronicles history of hearing aid

A new display in the Audiology Clinic at Hotel Dieu provides a quick history of devices used over the last century to help people living with diminished hearing, including some nifty eyeglasses that doubled as hearing aids.

Located in the Audiology Clinic’s waiting area, the display features hearing aids ranging from no-tech/low-tech solutions such as cupping the ear and ear trumpets to modern-day electronic hearing aids and cochlear implants. Hotel Dieu audiologist Emily Rosen created the mini-history lesson using information panels, photos and historical artifacts all neatly packed into a custom-built cabinet.

“It looks at amplification through the ages and helps patients better understand how that process unfolded and how far we’ve come in treating hearing loss,” explains Emily.

Fellow Hotel Dieu audiologist Paul Stevenson, a collector of early hearing aids, was able to donate items to the display, and the Kingston Museum of Health Care loaned the ear trumpet. Suppliers with a historical bent contributed artifacts such as the body aid, an early portable hearing instrument that featured an ear mould and battery case attached by a long wire. And those eyeglasses hearing aids demonstrate an early attempt at miniaturizing electronic components so hearing aids could be worn at ear level.

“The patients think it’s fascinating stuff,” reports Emily, “and many like to recall their grandparents using this or that style of hearing aid.

“As clinicians, we’re pleased the display gives patients and families a bit more context about how our ears work and how science and technology have worked together to make it easier for us to treat hearing loss. And it’s always nice to provide patients with some different entertainment as they wait for their clinic appointment!”