After months of behind-the-scenes preparations, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital have now joined together to create Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). The new hospital corporation became an official legal entity on Saturday, April 1.
“This is an exciting time for everyone at both hospitals and for health care in Kingston,” says inaugural President and CEO Dr. David Pichora. “Together, our two hospitals will be able to make the most of our shared resources to deliver better access to care and provide our communities a broader range of services close to home.”
The new hospital corporation has a single Board of Directors, CEO and Executive Team. It also has one budget and will develop and implement one corporate strategy for both sites. Staff at both sites are now employees of KHSC, which makes us one of the largest public sector employers in our region and the largest hospital corporation in southeastern Ontario.
But along with these changes, much is remaining the same for patients and families.
“As of April 1, we want to reassure people that we will be offering all of the same services at both sites, delivered by our same dedicated care teams,” says Pichora. “We also want to let everyone know that both hospital sites will be keeping their existing site names and signage. We learned from other hospitals in the province that have integrated that it’s important to keep the current hospital site names in place for people as they identify with them. This also helps patients know where to go to get the care they need.”
Under KHSC, each site will continue to fulfill its unique role, with the KGH site providing complex-acute and specialty care and the HDH site providing acute-ambulatory care. The HDH site will retain its Catholic identity and mission while the KGH site will remain secular.
For the time being, both hospital sites will keep their existing websites, email addresses and phone numbers so that patients can still contact us with ease. Our processes for booking hospital appointments and for processing laboratory requisitions will also stay the same. Each appointment slip will clearly spell out which site patients should attend for their health care visit.
One small change involves hospital invoices. Patients receiving a bill for any hospitals services or supplies, such as crutches, will now need to make their cheque out to “Kingston Health Sciences Centre” rather than to KGH or HDH. This is because the KHSC name will now be used on all legal, banking and other corporate documents. KHSC will also assume legal custody of all personal health information and medical records and will follow all existing processes to ensure we are protecting everyone’s personal health information.
“Becoming a new legal entity is just the beginning of our journey,” says Pichora. “We’ll now focus on making the most of the many opportunities presented to us through the creation of a new health sciences centre. Our goal is to transform care, together.”