Good Monday morning,

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN's Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

People and Culture Before you settle in for this read, I invite you to complete our 2020 Communications Survey here [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] which runs until the end of this month. We support an incredible amount of work across care, research and education at UHN. It can be hard to stay up to date – a challenge faced by all large organizations – which is why our colleagues in Public Affairs & Communications pay close attention to the survey feedback you share. In the past, the survey results have been used to shape our all-user email policies and prompted UHN News to shift from a print publication to digital. There is a question in this year's survey about this weekly update and I appreciate any feedback you're willing to share. By completing the survey, you could also win a $20 gift card.

Partnerships Last week, we held our quarterly UHN Board of Trustees meeting where we reviewed the work of the Board's Committees. We discussed COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), UHN's Integrated Facilities Master Plan, Bioethics and the successes and challenges of the last quarter. I will be sending out a dedicated update on what was discussed as per usual.

2. Discussing occupancy pressures and patient flow challenges at the Ontario Hospitals Association (OHA) CEO Forum

Last week, I joined Cameron Love (incoming CEO, current Chief Operating Officer at The Ottawa Hospital) and Bert Lauwers (Executive Vice President, Medical and Clinical Programs, Scarborough Health Network) for an OHA panel discussion on occupancy pressures and patient flow challenges across the health system. Some colleagues based in the U.S. were in the audience and shared how they are trying to increase occupancy from 60% – the opposite of our challenge in Ontario and UHN, where we are managing occupancy rates of up to 120%. We talked about the leadership required to make clinical transformation possible and common pitfalls that limit the impact of patient flow initiatives. For example, thoughtlessly layering on new meetings, processes and paperwork. This is another reminder that we should always take advantage of existing structures and processes at UHN instead of creating new ones whenever possible (see our existing committees here), and ensure our processes are as simple as possible and empowering to colleagues closest to the work.

3. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

Below is a summary of what was discussed at last week's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF). We share a high-level overview as part of our commitment to transparency and open communication at UHN. See the people who make up the ELF table on

  • Clinical Transformation: Health Information System (HIS) Implementation

    Presenters: Duska Kennedy (Senior Director, Digital Clinical and Corporate Lead), Terri Stuart-McEwen (Co-Chair, HIS Clinical Working Group; Executive Director, Surgical Services)

    Many of you know we are launching a clinical transformation at UHN – one that is supercharged by technology and driven by our continued quest for the best care and caring. The Clinical Transformation Committee presented a recommended implementation scope (i.e. setting the boundaries of what will and will not be included with our new HIS), strategy and UHN's Response to Risk Readiness report for ELF's comments and consideration. Our Board of Trustees will be convening in the spring specifically to discuss our progress, and we'll be providing an overview on key topics and items requiring their approval.

  • 2020/21 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) Targets

    Presenter: Megha Bhavsar (Corporate Planner)

    The QIP is an annual set of commitments made by every healthcare organization in Ontario to improve quality of care in service of patients through focused actions and targets. At the previous ELF meeting, we discussed the indicators – or areas of quality improvement – we will be targeting as part of UHN's 2020/21 QIP. Thanks to Megha for facilitating a discussion with our respective Indicator Leads, Executive Sponsors, and members of ELF, who reviewed the rationale for the targets set within each indicator. For those of you who'd like to see our QIP indicators and our progress to date, you can do so by visiting this link.

  • Supporting the work of UHN's Black Legacy Committee

    Presenters: Jacqueline Silvera (Senior Manager, Diversity and Mediation Services), Dianne Barham (Co-Chair, Black Legacy Committee; Staffing Advisor), Sylvia Welsh (Co-Chair, Black Legacy Committee; Senior Business Technical Specialist, UHN Digital)

    Our Black Legacy Committee presented to ELF and reported that the lived experience of racialized people is being discussed more openly at UHN. While this is good news, we know there is still more work to do, not just within UHN but across the health system. Unconscious bias is especially dangerous when it comes to the delivery of care as it can negatively impact how patients and providers are treated. It's important we look past our good intentions and challenge our own assumptions often. We confirmed our commitment to anti-racism and anti-black racism at UHN and discussed how ELF can support the work of our Black Legacy Committee. They are hosting a conversation on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. at Toronto General's De Gasperis Conservatory, 4th floor. Please come and join.

  • Reviewing our simplified uninsured patient policy

    Presenter: Marnie Escaf (Senior Vice President and Executive Lead, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)

    There are times where patients have presented to UHN who are uninsured, meaning they do not have a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan or provincial or federal government issued health insurance plan. ELF reviewed a draft policy to assist in how best to manage these patients within a publicly funded system. More discussion on this is required and we'll ensure all programs are aware of the results as they're finalized.

Have a good week,


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