When Lori Berger Hegyi joined Scarborough and Rouge Hospital’s (SRH) new Falls Prevention Committee in the summer of 2017, she became more than just a Patient Family Advisor (PFA). She became an important part of SRH’s quality improvement journey.
Lori’s husband Andrew suffered a fall in 2013 while being treated as a nephrology patient at a downtown Toronto hospital. Already a PFA with SRH’s Nephrology department where her husband also received care, when Lori heard about the new Falls Prevention Committee, she knew she also wanted to participate as a PFA.
“I wanted to bring a patient’s perspective as someone who spent a lot of time with my husband in hospital after a fall, saw a lot happen to him and other patients, and wants to find ways to improve.”
SRH’s Falls Prevention Committee is just one of the many quality improvement initiatives highlighted in the hospital’s 2018-2019 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).
A QIP is a formal set of commitments aligned with system and provincial priorities that a health care organization makes to improve the quality of patient care through focused targets and actions. All hospitals in Ontario are required by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to submit a QIP by April 1 of each year to Health Quality Ontario, the provincial advisor on quality health care.
“Our QIP tells the story of how SRH is growing together to strengthen health care for residents in Scarborough and our surrounding communities,” said Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO of SRH.
“A year ago, when we released our 2017-2018 QIP, we were just four months into a merger between our Birchmount and General sites and our Centenary site and the QIP was an important milestone for us as a new organization. Over the last 15 months, we’ve focused on bringing our staff, physicians, and volunteers together with shared structures, practices, and processes to provide care as one hospital. These positive changes are truly reflected in our QIP.”
A key focus in the development of SRH’s 2018-2019 QIP was to better understand how communication issues can impact quality of care.
“Based on reports by national quality bodies and analysis of what we have heard from our own patients and family members, we know that communication between patients and their health-care team is a critical component of high-quality care and improved patient satisfaction,” explained Linda Calhoun, Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive at SRH.
SRH’s PFAs – a group of nearly 60 individuals who help the hospital to continually define and deliver the very best quality care experience – were engaged through a survey and an in-depth focus group to come up with ideas that could improve communication and quality of care at three key touch points: when patients first access care, during their treatment, and when they are discharged. Hospital management and physicians also responded to a similar survey.
These ideas were then used by QIP teams – which included frontline staff – in the development of change plans to support the 10 priority indicators in the QIP.
“I am so grateful to the many individuals who have shared their thoughtful insights to help us create this most important planning tool for our hospital,” added Elizabeth.
“This next year will be another momentous one as we create SRH’s first strategic plan and mission, vision, and values, develop our new name and look, and plan for our facilities of the future. Together with our many partners, we will build a health network for Scarborough that will set a new course for providing care to our community.”