hdhEnews issue: November 26, 2013

Inside this issue:

Hotel Dieu Hospital is top performer in day surgery services
Marking a 50-year milestone in living with diabetes
Preventing and managing diabetes: little steps to take every day
Hotel Dieu Hospital staff honoured for excellent service
ASK THE EXPERT: “How can I tell if my child is being bullied?
Stock up with music & stock up the Food Bank this holiday season

Hotel Dieu Hospital is top performer in day surgery services

HDH Day surgeryHotel Dieu Hospital has been declared the top performer among Ontario hospitals when it comes to patient satisfaction with day surgery services.

One hundred per cent of patients surveyed by National Research Corporation Canada (NRCC) between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012 rated their overall care in Hotel Dieu’s day surgery unit as “good,” “very good,” or “excellent” when asked how they would assess the quality of care they received during an overnight stay.

Hotel Dieu topped a list of small, large, academic and community hospitals—28 in total—that regularly use the NRCC survey to measure patient experience and to learn how they can enhance overall patient care.

Last year, the hospital recorded 7,252 day surgery patient visits across six services including orthopedics, ophthalmology, plastics, general surgery, ear/nose/throat and dental procedures. Of that number, 800 patients had an overnight stay.

The perfect score comes as no surprise to 63-year-old Tom Greenlaw. After his two-night stay in the hospital for a total knee replacement, he had nothing but praise for the “extreme professionalism” of everyone connected with his short-stay surgical visit.

“I’ve had other hospital experiences but nothing that compares to Hotel Dieu,” he says.

“From the moment you register, everyone is extremely caring and focused on the patient. Whatever role they have—porter, registration clerk, surgeon, nurse or physiotherapist—you can tell that everyone involved in the day surgery area enjoys and takes pride in their work. It’s a positive, confident environment. You can really feel it.”

“We’re very pleased to be identified as a top performer by our patients,” says Dr. David Pichora, CEO of Hotel Dieu. “We take the patient experience seriously and that attitude is reflected in this report.

“The result also speaks to the importance and effectiveness of the skilled interprofessional team that works in day surgery. Every member of that team is committed to providing patients with the best care experience possible.”

This is the second time in two years that Hotel Dieu has ranked number one in patient satisfaction for its services. Last year, in an NRC Picker Canada survey, the hospital’s Urgent Care Centre was declared the top performer among Ontario teaching hospitals in the category of patient satisfaction with urgent care/emergency services.


Marking a 50-year milestone in living with diabetes

World Diabetes Day on November 14 was celebrated in a special way by the Diabetes Education and Management Centre when five patients with Type 1 diabetes marked 50 years of insulin treatment, including some who had been diagnosed as early as 7 and 11 years old.

The individuals were presented with World Diabetes Day pins and prints of the Alliston home of insulin co-discoverer Sir Frederick Banting.

In welcoming the celebrants, Diabetes Nurse Educator Nancy Benn praised them for having come so far on their diabetes journey. “Managing diabetes can be like a second full-time job—one that never stops—and you have been doing that for 50 years,” she said. “I feel privileged to have been part of your health care team.”

DEMC Medical Director Dr. Robyn Houlden congratulated them for their courage in living with diabetes during an era when fewer treatment options were available.

“It’s a very different era now, and the kids we’re diagnosing now with Type 1 will live longer and will see even more advances in treatment,” she said. “Today we celebrate your courage. You are all an inspiration to everyone in your lives.”

The Novo Nordisk Half Century Award is presented to Canadians who have been on insulin for more than 50 years. Novo Nordisk Canada offers a wide range of insulin preparations and insulin delivery systems that help to make the daily administration of insulin safe, simple and accurate.


Preventing and managing diabetes: little steps to take every day

diabetes dayDuring this diabetes awareness month, you probably saw the blue circle that symbolizes diabetes globally: the circle represents life and health and the colour blue—the colour of the UN flag—reflects the sky that unites all nations. More than 9 million Canadians live with pre diabetes or diabetes. What can you do each day to prevent or manage the disease?

The Diabetes Education & Management Centre at Hotel Dieu suggests you take a look at your daily eating and activity. Small, simple changes such as these can yield great benefit:

  • Cook a homemade meal tonight with enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
  • Plan your meals and snacks around Canada’s Food Guide; the size of a healthy portion may surprise you!
  • Quench your thirst and boost your energy with water not coffee. Keep a water bottle on your desk or walk past the fountain often.
  • Head out on your lunch hour for a brisk walk and explore the downtown neighbourhood.
  • Take stretch breaks away from your computer or desk. The more you move the happier your body will be.
  • Drop by the Diabetes Education & Management Centre at Hotel Dieu and check out the library for a variety of free literature.

Set small realistic goals and tackle one at a time. Get support from family, friends and health care professionals. Why not get started today! To learn more about preventing diabetes and for some new recipes, check out Canadian Diabetes Association or Eat Right Ontario webs.


Hotel Dieu Hospital staff honoured for excellent service

They hail from across the organization and they’ve done everything from helping families launch the local Down Syndrome Association to logging more than 30 years of volunteer service to donating endless lunch hours to build a successful community-wide run/walk in support of children with special needs.

On Nov. 6 Hotel Dieu Hospital celebrated its 800-plus employees and 200-plus volunteers, and it turned the spotlight on a handful of staff whose contributions reflect the high levels of expertise and sense of mission practised every day by all hospital employees.

Those honoured with 2013 Hotel Dieu Mission Awards included:

Rita Carey: Described as a “hidden gem” at Hotel Dieu, Rita has been volunteering in the hospital since 1982. She logs a weekly shift in the Recovery Room where she has a sixth sense for knowing when a patient needs a warm blanket or a cool cloth. Each year, Rita has donates more than 150 volunteer hours to Hotel Dieu, which has so far totalled 4700 hours over her 31 years with the hospital. Hospital staff in the Day Surgery area describe her commitment to serving patients as inspirational.

Pat Murray: A dedicated nurse known as “a great ambassador for Hotel Dieu Hospital,” Pat has worked at Hotel Dieu for 45 years and was lauded for her professionalism and sense of respect for patients, families and co-workers. She was praised for mentoring new staff in the hospital’s Urgent Care Centre and for modelling what it means to give back to her profession and hospital by volunteering her time and energy to committees working to support diverse causes such as values and ethics, Nursing Week and the Ontario Nursing Association.

Julie Reed: An Infant Development Worker at Hotel Dieu, Julie has gone the extra mile in supporting local families living with Down Syndrome. Her leadership was a catalyst to the formation and success of the Down Syndrome Association of Kingston, where she serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the Board of Directors. She has volunteered personal time to help parents with children with Down Syndrome plan parties, monthly meetings and newsletters, and she continues to assist in helping to develop the group develop future goals around recreational and fundraising activities.

CDC Run/Walk Committee: This group of staff doubles as volunteers who donate countless hours to making the annual Child Development Centre Run/Walk a fundraising success every year. The Run/Walk enterprise just gets bigger and better as the group continues to expand the project into something very special to support children and families with special needs in our community. Last year alone, they raised $30,000, funds that will help to purchase essential equipment, specialized assessment and treatment materials. The members of the Committee were recognized with a Mission Award for taking Hotel Dieu’s mission and running with it—literally—year after year.

“The employees we honour today epitomize the culture and spirit of excellence in our hospital and in Catholic health care generally,” noted CEO Dr. David Pichora at the recognition ceremony. “They’re examples of many more people at Hotel Dieu who provide excellent care and service year in and year out.”


ASK THE EXPERT: “How can I tell if my child is being bullied?

Nicholas Axas, a Social Worker in the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Urgent Consult Clinic, answers: Nearly 50 per cent of all the children we see in the Urgent Consult Clinic report that bullying has played a major role in their mental health, and of those 82 per cent report actively thinking about suicide.

Increasingly, we have seen that cyber-bullying is becoming a larger issue with many youth as technology and social media plays a bigger role in their lives. In today’s day and age it is important for caregivers to be aware of which social media sites your child is using and their impact, and to become more familiar with the technology your child is utilizing.

Emotional and behavioural signs of being bullied include being afraid to go to school or other events, lower interest in activities, lower performance at school, hidden injuries, bruising, damaged clothing, low self-esteem and/or negative comments, trouble with sleeping and/or nightmares and appearing anxious or fearful.

As a caregiver, it is important for you to listen carefully to your child as he/she may be reluctant to report bullying. Remember, when speaking to your child about the bullying it is important to explain the difference between “snitching” and “reporting” (snitching is a negative label often used by bullies to discourage victims from reporting); it takes courage to report bullying and help keep someone safe.

Work with your child to bolster their resiliency and find ways to deal with the concerns they have. It’s likely that your child has already tried different ways to solve the problem, but they have been unsuccessful. By working together with your local school board and children’s mental health resources you can help your child deal with their current issues, along with helping them learn to be more resilient to future bullying.


Stock up with music & stock up the Food Bank this holiday season

Looking for a gift for the music lover in your family this season? Look no farther than the Partners in Mission Food Bank latest seasonal CD—A Soul Survivors Christmas—and help support the Food Bank during the high-demand holidays.

An awesome collection of favourite holiday tunes, A Soul Survivors Christmas features the showband Soul Survivors, which is fronted by Food Bank Executive Director Sandy Singers.

This is the second seasonal CD for the Food Bank, The 2010 record, which featured well-known singers and musicians such as Sarah Harmer and Emily Fennell, raised more than $22,000 for the Food Bank. When the Soul Survivors re-formed recently, they decided to take a run at their own holiday CD and ended up with 12 Christmas classics.

The CD is now on sale with all proceeds supporting the Food Band. You can pick it up for only $15 at the following locations:

  • all 3 Kingston RBC branches
  • Cooke's Fine Foods and Coffee and Coffee, 61 Brock St. and 2395 Princess St.
  • Sunrise Record, Cataraqui Mall
  • Bread and Butter Bakery, 1530 Bath Road
  • Partners in Mission Food Band,140 Hickson Ave. Visit the Partners in Mission Food Bank web for more information about the CD or how you can support.