Dear Colleagues,

I want to share two experiences I had last week which reminded me about the power of the people that work at UHN. The first experience was our annual Board Retreat held last Wednesday. The theme of the Retreat this year (organized by Emma Pavlov and her team) was "Doing Your Life's Best Work"- a review for our Board of who works at UHN and how UHN is developing leaders and focusing on employee engagement. Hearing stories directly from Nurses, Health Professionals, Physicians and other staff working at UHN about how we work in teams to provide better care was certainly educational for our Board. It was also very inspirational for me to hear how committed people are at this hospital to make our caring better and to improving patient outcomes.

If you would like to see the videos which we ran at the Board Retreat, you can view them at 'UHN is its People' at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeaL_GAHxKLScblww3wihuwbZgCMHGTks. The videos feature Bill Atkins, Paulina Bleah, William Cachia, Diana Harrism, Khaula Mangla, and Heather Ross.

My second experience was making patient safety rounds at Lyndhurst last Friday morning. Since Toronto Rehab joined the UHN family we have focused on using "Lean" methods to improve patient flow between Toronto Western and Toronto Rehab. This work is led by Senior Clinical VP's Sue Jewell and Kathy Sabo. On Friday I heard from UHN staff across Lyndhurst how important this activity has been to their ability to re-organize their work to serve their patients better. We are starting to see improvements in the total time that patients with spinal problems spend at UHN- the Lean work is allowing them to get rehabilitation and get home quicker. And we are starting to see evidence of improvements in patient outcomes- for example the Neuro Critical Care, Neuro Step-down and Spinal Units at Toronto Western are reporting fewer pressure ulcers in spinal injury patients. And at Lyndhurst we are also seeing fewer pressure ulcers and have developed a better method for setting patient goals that leads to higher patient satisfaction.

This Lean work has engaged staff across both hospitals and has followed our focus on "Patients as Partners" by involving patients in the improvement exercises. Kathy and Sue along with our UHN Lean teams under Michael Caesar and Brenda Kenefick will be extending this work to Neuro Stroke and Complex Fractures and we expect to see extension beyond Toronto Rehab and Toronto Western in the not too distant future.

Our Board Retreat and talking to Lyndhurst staff about our Lean work spoke strongly to me about people power at UHN- how ambitious our people are to improve care and how committed they are to our hospital. It is so satisfying to see our people power in action.

Thank you.


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