hdhEnews issue: November 26, 2015

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Transformative technique aims to revolutionize breast tumor surgery
Hotel Dieu earns gold award for quality healthcare workplace
Ugandan ophthalmologist trains with Hotel Dieu eye specialists
Kudos to staff for putting hospital mission into action


Transformative technique aims to revolutionize breast tumor surgery

Clinical trials at Hotel Dieu Hospital are using GPS-like technology to literally map a new way to perform breast tumor surgery, a transformative surgical technique that will be the focus of a public information session at the hospital December 8, hosted by the Hotel Dieu Hospital Research Institute.

Currently, breast tumor surgery utilizes guide-wire localization, a technique in which a radiologist uses mammography or ultrasound to insert a fine wire into the tumor site; the surgeon then follows the wire to locate and remove the tumor.  In cases where the tumor is hard to see and feel, however, obtaining cancer-free margins at the excision site can be a challenge. 

By contrast, the electromagnetic navigation system under study at Hotel Dieu gives surgeons a clear visual of the targeted area.  An ultrasound marks the breast tumor and visualizes a computer-generated 3D model of the tumor site on a computer screen, and real-time tracking information equips the surgeon to remove the breast tumor cleanly and with less damage to healthy surrounding tissue. 

“The whole point of this technique is to reduce the incidence of positive margins,” explains Dr. Jay Engel, the presenter at the Dec. 8 session and Chair of Surgical Oncology at Queen’s University.  “If you get the margins right the first time, then you reduce the need for further surgery and you also conserve healthy breast tissue.” 

At Hotel Dieu, the breast-conserving surgical technique has been piloted on patients with a single palpable tumor, a safety study geared to testing the feasibility of using the electromagnetic navigation system in the OR.  Last year, the project and study won the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology poster competition at the Canadian Surgery Forum in Vancouver, as well as grabbing attention at other national and international conferences. 

Mapping the Future of Breast Surgery: Using real-time electromagnetic navigation in breast-conserving surgery takes place 6-8 pm, Tuesday, December 8 in the Johnson 1 Auditorium at Hotel Dieu Hospital.  The event is free and open to the public. 

For more information, visit www.hoteldieu.com or contact the Hotel Dieu Hospital Research Institute at 613-544-3400, ext. 2115.

Breast-conserving surgery research is an example of how Hotel Dieu Hospital is contributing to making Ontario Healthier, Wealthier and Smarter. 

Photo:  A GPS-like navigation system has the potential to transform breast tumor, breast-conserving surgery.


Hotel Dieu earns gold award for quality healthcare workplace

Hotel Dieu Hospital has won a top award from the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for its achievements in creating an excellent work environment. 

The 2015 Quality Healthcare Workplace Award—Gold Level honours Hotel Dieu for its continuous efforts to improve the workplace in ways that contribute to a quality work life for employees and, in turn, to the quality of care for patients and families in our region.

A wide variety of workplace practices, events and initiatives helped the hospital to score Gold this year, only the second time Hotel Dieu has vied for the quality workplace honour.  Last year it picked up a Silver award.

A panel of quality workplace experts applauded Hotel Dieu for notable successes in creating an ideal working environment including achieving very high scores on employee workplace surveys, ensuring a close alignment between staff and corporate values, introducing safety and Senior Leadership Team walkabouts to improve communication and consultation, and taking a comprehensive approach to promoting health in the workplace through interactive displays, presentations and events such as the annual Workplace Wellness Week.  Among eligible teaching hospitals, Hotel Dieu scored the highest in terms of health and safety.

“The standards for these awards are constantly being raised and so the criteria become increasingly rigorous as an organization moves upward through four different levels,” says Scott MacInnes, Chief Human Resources Officer at Hotel Dieu. 

“We actively aim for a high-calibre workplace that makes our staff positive and proud, and it’s gratifying to be acknowledged as a healthcare setting that ensures staff are well supported to provide the best care possible.”

Hotel Dieu picked up the award at the OHA’s HealthAchieve 2015 on Nov. 3.  The hospital’s commitment to staff well-being was also acknowledged recently with a Workplace Wellness Gold Award from KFL&A Public Health.

Photo:  Kelly Monaghan, Director, Patient & Staff Safety, Infection Prevention & Control and Occupational Health, displays the 2015 Gold Quality Healthcare Workplace Award.


Ugandan ophthalmologist trains with Hotel Dieu eye specialists

In early November, Hotel Dieu Hospital’s Ophthalmology department responded to a request from the Queen of England by welcoming Dr. Moses Kasadhakawo and offering him a six-week observership to acquire skills needed to prevent avoidable blindness back in his home hospital in Uganda.

A consultant ophthalmologist at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Dr. Kasadhakawo is here largely to observe the management of retinal conditions, as well as clinics in glaucoma, cornea, oculoplastics and neuro-ophthalmology.  His clinical fellowship is supported by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and administered by the International Centre for Eye Health. The Trust program focuses on ending preventable blindness in Commonwealth countries and matches ophthalmologists without sub-specialist training with specialist centres that offer it. 

One of only 35 practicing ophthalmologists in Uganda (population 40 million), Dr. Kasadhakawo says he jumped at the chance to come to Kingston for sub-specialty training, especially in the area of diabetic eye disease (e.g., diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma) given the dramatic upsurge in diabetes in recent years back home.

“We don’t have enough trained staff to handle all of the diabetes-related eye disease coming at us, so when opportunity knocked in the form of the Trust fellowship, I answered,” he says.  “I’m here to grab as much training as I can.”

That includes getting more practice with diagnostic tools such as Optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fundus retinal photography, both used to document diabetic retinopathy.  His home hospital only recently acquired the first OCT instrument in the country courtesy of a collaboration between hospitals in the United Kingdom and Africa. 

At Hotel Dieu he has been very impressed by the ophthalmologists’ obvious dedication to their work and patients—“they work up every single patient thoroughly and get right to the problem”—and by the streamlined and efficient management of patient files and data via an electronic medical record.    

He says that international outreach opportunities are vital to building eye care programs in less privileged nations, where people are suffering unnecessarily due to avoidable eye disease.  In fact, it was an experience with a patient whose eyesight and quality of life were dramatically restored that propelled him into specializing in ophthalmology.

“Our big challenge is building capacity to care for so many patients,” he says.  “We need more training and equipment so we can create sustainable ophthalmology programs.  That’s why we welcome the spirit of outreach in eye programs around the world.”

It’s a spirit that has long defined the Ophthalmology Department, says Department Head Dr. Martin ten Hove. 

“We’re very excited to participate in the program run by the International Centre for Eye Health in London,” he says, noting that the Department faculty have taught around the globe, including Tanzania, Trinidad, Jamaica, Philippines and the Czech Republic.  

“We’re particularly proud that our Ophthalmology residents have participated in service missions worldwide, with each outreach experience bringing a unique perspective on global health and eye care.  Having Dr. Kasadhakawo join us from Uganda is no exception.  We’re delighted that he asked to be trained at Hotel Dieu Hospital."

Photo:  A six-week observership is giving Drs. Martin ten Hove (left) and Moses Kasadhakawo (right) the opportunity to work together to improve global health and eye care.


Kudos to staff for putting hospital mission into action

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

The employees honoured epitomize the culture and spirit of excellence in our hospital and in Catholic health care generally, said Board Chair Michael Hickey Pichora at the recognition ceremony:  “They exemplify all Hotel Dieu staff who provide excellent care and service year in and year out.  Whatever their role, they do an outstanding job of living the hospital’s mission.”

Those honoured with 2015 Hotel Dieu Mission Awards included Brendan Hulme, Maintenance Manager; Janine Schweitzer, Chief of Quality Management & Organizational Improvement; Jennifer  Sawyer, Quality Improvement & Patient Relations Specialist; and otolaryngologist Dr.  Edmund Jones.

Photo:  Celebrating the 2015 Mission Award (l-r): Winners Jennifer Sawyer, Dr. Edmund Jones, Brendan Hulme; HDH Board Chair Michael Hickey; RHSJ Sister Joan Kalchbrenner; CEO Dr. David Pichora; and COO/CFO Steve Miller. Absent:  Winner Janine Schweitzer