hdhEnews issue: October 28, 2013

Inside this issue:

Ski Jacket Drop
Visit by video: clinical telemedicine program underway at Hotel Dieu
Volunteers wrap up $1 million pledge to redevelopment
Resounding success for first-ever Leadership Breakfast
Gold again for Hearing Aid Dispensary
Golfers tee off for eating disorders, pediatric programs
ASK THE EXPERT: My eye doctor says I have blepharitis. What's that?
Knit Wits provide comfort to breast cancer patients
Pebble pool invites time of reflection

Ski Jacket Drop

Help others in the community stay warm this winter. Pass along gently-used ski jackets at the Brock Street entrance, Hotel Dieu Hospital, 8 am to 1 pm, Saturday, Nov. 2. Details: 613-544-3400, ext. 2231 or 2648. As of November 4, the Hotel Dieu Hospital Coat Room will be open from noon to 2 pm, Monday to Friday for anyone who needs a warm ski jacket for winter.


Visit by video: clinical telemedicine program underway at Hotel Dieu

HDH telemedicine programImagine being told you can check in with a specialist at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston without even leaving Belleville or Sharbot Lake—no need to miss work, no traffic hassles, no parking fees. Best of all, you can stay close to home and still get the care you need.

That’s the benefit of clinical telemedicine, which allows patients to have a virtual appointment with a specialist or health care provider using a two-way secure videoconference system. The patient-centred technology, supported by the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), is now officially up and running at Hotel Dieu Hospital, where clinicians can access seven telemedicine systems in clinic spaces and conference rooms or via mobile platforms. Hotel Dieu is one of 12 new OTN partner sites serving residents of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington counties.

It’s a system already familiar to the mental health teams at Hotel Dieu, which have logged more than 300 telemedicine events (including group clinics and one-to-one consultations) over the past year, as well as to staff such as Patti Staples, a Nurse Practitioner in the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic. In appointments with patients at remote locations she can listen to heart sounds through a digital stethoscope and visualize jugular venous pressure through a handheld camera operated by a nurse at the patient’s side. That nurse can also provide Patti with vitals such as blood pressure and weight.

“This kind of electronic visit works well for routine assessment and follow-up,” she says. “Patients skip hours of stressful travel time and people appreciate the option of a videoconference visit. The technology also brings us into closer partnership with family health care teams in the region.”

As the new clinical telemedicine nurse based at Hotel Dieu, Rita Fairweather books telemedicine consultations (both remote and on site) and assists health care providers using the equipment. She also provides clinical support to patients/clients during the virtual appointment, which could include using tele-diagnostic equipment such as a digital stethoscope and patient-examination camera.

“When appropriate, a family physician or health care provider would fax a referral to the Clinical Telemedicine Program at Hotel Dieu,” she explains. “Once the consultation time is scheduled, I would contact the patient to confirm the appointment and help coordinate any tests or blood work prior to the appointment.”

With dozens of specialized ambulatory programs and services, Hotel Dieu is the perfect choice for clinical telemedicine, says Dr. John Leverette, Director of Medical Affairs at Hotel Dieu.

“Most commonly, the technology lends itself to single events such as a physician or allied health professional following up with a patient after a clinic visit or procedure,” he says. “Down the line, though, it has the potential for supporting entire clinics in areas such as diabetes and bariatrics. Under the right circumstances, a physician could ‘see’ multiple patients via videoconference during a two or three-hour telemedicine clinic.”

Dr. Leverette will steer a telemedicine physician advisory committee at Hotel Dieu to support and guide the work of the new program.

“We’re really excited about this program. Telemedicine is another mode of providing care without the patient always needing to be seen within the walls of Hotel Dieu,” he says. “Implementing the technology is a good example of how the hospital is putting patients and families first.”

Stay tuned for more information about the clinical telemedicine program as it begins unfolding at Hotel Dieu.


Volunteers wrap up $1 million pledge to redevelopment

HDH VolunteersIt was a milestone donation. At their 108th Annual General Meeting on Oct. 21, Volunteers at Hotel Dieu Hospital wrapped up a $1 million pledge to hospital redevelopment, presenting the final installment of $115,600 to hospital representatives and the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation.

“We set our sights on completing our pledge this year and we hit that mark,” says Mary Smith, the outgoing president of Volunteer Services to Hotel Dieu Hospital Inc. “Our volunteers have worked tirelessly over the last several years to achieve this goal for the hospital and they were all proud to see that final cheque handed over today.”

This year’s installment on the Volunteers’ ambitious pledge stemmed largely from the success of retail enterprises such as the Brockview Café and Brock Boutique gift shop, which earned $120,000 and $37,500 respectively this past year. The Volunteers also donated close to $19,000 to support hospital programs such as the Child Development Centre and Child Life, and to help purchase hospital equipment.

Last year 233 volunteers logged about 19,215 hours at Hotel Dieu, says Smith, with 67 per cent of those hours having a direct impact on patients visiting hospital clinics. At the AGM, 20 volunteers received service pins for anywhere from 5 to 30 years of service; in total, the group represented 120 years of dedicated service to the hospital.

“We’re very grateful to our volunteers for their generous $1 million pledge, which supports our hospital in leading the way in ambulatory care,” says Dr. David Pichora, HDH Chief Executive Officer. “And we deeply appreciate the care and compassion they bring to Hotel Dieu every single day.”


Resounding success for first-ever Leadership Breakfast

The University Hospitals Kingston Foundation scored a success with its first-ever signature Leadership Breakfast in support of Hotel Dieu Hospital on Oct. 23. Close to 300 people started their day early with guest speaker and leadership guru Robin Sharma. Proceeds from the event will enable the purchase of a special ultrasound unit for the Urgent Care Centre.

Robin’s inspirational and engaging talk encouraged participants to focus on productivity, creativity, learning and challenging assumptions. Using examples of real people such as an American 86-year-old washerwoman who donated her life savings of $250,000 to a university for scholarships for African American students, he encouraged us to create a life that matters.

This philosophy aligns well with Hotel Dieu as a mission-driven organization. Robin noted that leaders need to strive to make people “feel bigger in our presence” and to help them present “talents and gifts they never knew they had to the world.” He cited examples of workers—such as Bert the carpet layer in his own office—who take real pride in their work and their talents and who inspire those around them. In closing, he reminded us that “our days are our life in miniature” and so each day should matter.

Proceeds from the breakfast will help to upgrade the bedside ultrasound unit in the Urgent Care Centre at Hotel Dieu.

There are typically four things emergency physicians look for with bedside ultrasound, says Dr. Louise Rang, emergency medicine ultrasound director for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Hotel Dieu, Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Queen’s University.

“We check the heart to see if it has fluid around it, check the abdomen for signs of intra-abdominal bleeding, measure the aorta to ensure it's not dilated and look to see if a pregnant woman’s pregnancy is in the correct location within the uterus.”

While many patients with those types of illnesses will go to the Emergency Department at KGH, some are able to walk into the Urgent Care Centre. When the care team can provide an ultrasound at the bedside, it means treatment can be expedited, which could include being sent directly into emergency surgery at KGH.

Dr. Rang says ruptured aneurysms are among the most dramatic discoveries made through ultrasound.

“A lot of those patients come in looking really sick, but you’re not sure what’s wrong,” she explains. “They may or may not be able to tell you their symptoms. Once you see that they have a large aneurysm on bedside ultrasound, you can call the surgical team and be up to the operating room very quickly.”

The new ultrasound machine was trialed on the battlefield, Dr. Rang says. “They’re meant to be ultra-portable and ultra-durable, which is what we need here.”


Gold again for Hearing Aid Dispensary

The Hotel Dieu Hospital Hearing Aid Dispensary has taken home a Gold medal again this year as Kingston’s Best Hearing Services Store in the Kingston This Week’s Readers’ Choice Survey. Congratulations!


Golfers tee off for eating disorders, pediatric programs

Golfers hit the links in late summer and early fall to support care Hotel Dieu Hospital, including the specialized eating disorders and pediatric programs.

In late August the Melo family held the 33rd annual Joe and Maria Melo and Liz Doyle Memorial Ambassador Hotel Golf Tournament. Started in 1980, the tournament currently splits the proceeds between the United Way and the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF). This year, the funds were directed to children’s programs at both Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital. The tournament raised a total of $22,000.

Dr. Bob Connelly, Medical Director of the Hotel Dieu/KGH pediatrics program, thanked tournament organizers for funds headed to the Children’s Outpatient Centre at Hotel Dieu, which see about 8,000 children annually. It’s a very busy clinic that offers very specialized care that parents would otherwise have to seek in Toronto or Ottawa, he noted. On behalf of those parents and families, he thanked the Melo family for their support.

On September 13, Scotiabank Ontario Central East employees held a golf tournament at the Black Bear Ridge Golf Course in Belleville to raise funds for health care in the region. That included $10,000 for the Eating Disorder Clinic at Hotel Dieu Hospital. The funds will be used to support renovations for a kitchen area in the adult eating disorders clinic.

“The proceeds will go toward appliances and supplies for a kitchen area,” says Michelle Matthews, Manager for Mental Health Program. “The new kitchen will support patients with eating disorders to develop skills in meal preparation and planning, an integral part of their recovery process.”

The Tricia Anson Memorial Golf Tournament was held on June 14, 2013 in memory of long-time Hotel Dieu Hospital employee Tricia Anson. The funds are directed to the Child Development Centre and are used for the Chances for Children program to renovate the homes of local children with disablilities.

We are proud to be a part of such a wonderful event. This year, they raised $4,400 and their total amount over 9 years is about $34,000. Thank you to the organizing committee and to the Kawartha Credit Union branch at Hotel Dieu.


ASK THE EXPERT: My eye doctor says I have blepharitis? What's that?

 Hotel Dieu Hospital ophthalmologist Dr. Stephanie BaxterTechnically, blepharitis just means inflammation of the eyelids, says Hotel Dieu Hospital ophthalmologist Dr. Stephanie Baxter. Generally, this can be a problem for a patient in two main ways: flaking and crusting at the eyelid margin or blockage of important oil glands along the margin and within the eyelid.

“Practically, the patient can have redness, flaking, and irritation of the eyelid margin,” she says. “Some people may even develop styes as a result of the blocked glands. Occasionally, in severe cases, the eyeball can even be affected. Patients may feel no symptoms at one end of the spectrum and at the other end be terribly bothered by their condition with a variety of symptoms including irritation, itchiness, redness, dryness, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision.”

The mainstay of treatment for blepharitis is hot compresses on the eyelids and massaging of the eyelids to soften crusts and open oil glands. Artificial tears can help alleviate some of the irritative symptoms, too, says Dr. Baxter.


Knit Wits provide comfort to breast cancer patients

Knit WitsDuring Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we thank everyone in our community who supports those living with breast cancer, including a local knitting group—the Knit Wits—that brings the gift the comfort to women in the Breast Assessment Program at Hotel Dieu.

Recently, the group clicked its way through a pile of wool to create beautiful prayer shawls that they donated to the Pastoral Care Department in support of Breast Care patients. Shown modelling the shawls in the picture here are group members including Eileen Smith, Vivian Marchen, Margaret Payne, M Ashe, Ellen Mary Power and Margarate Perry. “We love knitting and sharing it with anyone who needs it,” says Vivian Marchen, who sits down weekly to knit and chat with her group. “The prayer shawl project was a bit different for us, and we were very happy to help other women in the community with this little gift.”


Pebble pool invites time of reflection

pebbel poolVisitors to the chapel at Hotel Dieu Hospital can now practice spiritual reflection by means of the new pebble pool. Each pebble placed in the pool represents a prayer, concern, worry or hope. And the pebble pool is also a place of remembrance, where visitors can recall those people who are or have been important in their lives. Everyone is welcome to visit the chapel—and the pebble pool—for a moment of quiet prayer and self-care.