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Today the Auditor General will release a report which incorporates a number of 'value for money' audits in the health care sector including Emergency Department Wait Times, Hospital Discharge Planning, Home Care and Organ and Tissue Donation. These four areas are of great interest to UHN as they have been the focus of much of our work over the past number of years and the reports will be posted on the website of the Auditor General by early afternoon.
We will be looking at all of the recommendations from the Auditor General and implementing any that are not in place. From today's reports it would appear that the Auditor General has accurately identified the problems and we are, as always, committed to working on the solutions. As most of you know, the Emergency Department and the General Internal Medicine service have been working together for some time now and our latest balanced scorecard shows dramatic improvement in our wait times in Emergency, which also means that our work on the floors in discharging patients has contributed to this improvement. With a finite number of beds, you have to work on the intake and discharge of patients if you hope to improve wait times and thanks to everyone who has spent so much time on improving our results. I'd also note that, there has been an enormous amount of cooperation with our Community Care Access Centre partners in an effort to get the right services ready for our patients as they transition home.
UHN was one of the transplant centres visited by the Auditor General's team and the team had our full cooperation. The audit objective in this section was: "to assess whether there are adequate policies, procedures, and systems in place, including at the Trillium Gift of Life Network, to meet the organ and tissue needs of Ontarians in an efficient and fair manner." It goes on to state that this audit focused on donations from deceased donors while noting that donation from living donors is an important aspect of donation which is a focus for transplant hospitals within the Province.
The report and the recommendations made by the Auditor General has our endorsement for all recommendations within the report and in stating that support, I am doing so on behalf of UHN and Gary Levy, Medical Director of UHN's Transplant program. As many of you know, Gary chaired the 2009 Organ and Tissue Transplantation Wait Times Expert Panel and the Auditor General states in his audit that the recommendations from that study should be fully implemented by the Province of Ontario. I would like to thank Gary for all the work which went in to the panel and for everything that he has done to make UHN's transplant program the leader in living donation – all of this work means that more Ontarians will benefit from a transplant and live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
We can do better and have areas where we can improve. UHN has recognized that we need to address organ retrieval within our organization and we are measuring our performance this year on our balanced scorecard. As a leader in transplantation we also need to lead in providing the option of donation to families when they are facing some of the most difficult decisions in their lives.