Good morning, TeamUHN!

It is a pleasure to connect with you across care, research, and education through this weekly CEO update – all in service of A Healthier World.

A milestone day in UHN's clinical transformation

This past weekend marked a major milestone in UHN's implementation of Epic, the health information system (HIS) that is supercharging our clinical transformation. The goal of the two-day work effort that involved 500 administrative staff from across UHN: ensure all patient appointments, schedulable orders, and surgical cases for June 4 or later are accurately converted from PHS and other legacy systems into Epic. This activity is called Appointment Conversion Weekend and it was an outstanding success.

In addition to the accurate conversion of approximately 315,000 appointments, orders, and cases, UHN set a record among organizations that have implemented Epic! Thanks to the diligence and dedication of the team — led by Mary Beth Carpenter, Senior Application Manager, Revenue and Access Systems, Synapse — that has been working toward this milestone since the Synapse project kicked off in November 2020, UHN now holds the Epic record for most successful appointment import from a legacy scheduling system (in this case, PHS) to Epic. About 95% of UHN's appointments are stored in PHS. On Friday night, 99.49% of those appointments were successfully imported into Epic, lightening the anticipated workload of manually correcting errors. In turn, that achievement created more time for pre-registering the patients attending appointments in June. Pre-registration saves time during those visits and will likely reduce stress for staff and the patients as we adapt to Epic.

On Sunday afternoon, Synapse and Epic leaders met to decide if UHN was ready to start using Epic for scheduling and other related entries today. The answer was a clear "yes".

As you read this, there are TeamUHN members who are already using Epic for new patient appointments, schedulable orders, and surgical cases for June 4 or later. Today is Scheduling Go-Live day! You can learn more here.

Thank you to the hundreds of people who contributed in different ways to UHN reaching this milestone.

We are now fewer than three weeks from Epic going live across UHN on June 4. Clinical transformation is no longer an aspiration, it's here!

While there is still much to do between now and June 4 – and there will be more to do in the days and weeks after – I know what TeamUHN is capable of and, like with any challenge that comes our way, we will stay focused on the needs of patients, work together, and succeed. Implementation on June 4 won't be perfect. The goal is a safe and effective transition to Epic from the fragmented collection of systems we currently use. I have every reason to believe we will achieve that goal. Risks are being mitigated and issues resolved daily.

I will also remind anyone who is learning to use Epic that it takes some time to gain confidence in performing your workflows, but it will come. In addition to giving your full attention during training class and asking questions, spend as much time as possible in the Playground and review the growing number of demos and class recordings.

Thank you, TeamUHN. You are doing remarkable work under less than ideal circumstances and contributing to a stronger, more patient-focused future for UHN and the patients and families we serve and care for.

Key reminders and updates

  • Congratulations to the UHN researchers leading seven cutting-edge projects that recently received landmark funding from the Stem Cell Network. The total investment of $4.75 million will support projects that explore such innovative approaches as gene therapy, nanoparticle-based therapies, cell-based therapies, and three-dimensionally printed organ tissues. The Stem Cell Network is allocating $19.5 million to 32 different projects and clinical trials – the largest single investment in stem cell research in Canada. Learn more about the projects that UHN is leading and the researchers behind them at UHN News.
  • Last week's Open Forum on the home stretch of the Synapse project is available to watch online (Chrome or Firefox)
  • The Toronto Western COVID Assessment Centre (CAC) will close on May 31. This decision comes after changes to the eligibility criteria for PCR testing that have significantly decreased the volume of testing at the site. Healthcare workers and those living with healthcare workers remain a priority for COVID testing. If you or someone with whom you live require a PCR test because of symptoms or exposure, you must report this to Health Services and can coordinate a PCR test with these forms. You will then choose from several testing locations, including Women's College, the Krembil Discovery Tower, and several UHN Altum sites. If you have questions, refer to the Health Services intranet (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Updates > Health Services) or call (416) 979-4411 and leave a voicemail. We are all extremely grateful to the stellar team at Toronto Western CAC for their work serving TeamUHN and our community. To date, they have administered nearly a quarter-million Nasopharyngeal (NP) PCR tests.

Closing Notes

I was invited to speak to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Science and Research last week. The multi-party committee is studying how best to support research and innovation in Canada, and attract and retain top talent. This is an issue that we are charged with at UHN each day. I was happy to make the case for more investments in health research to entice the finest minds to research and clinical care and to promote the remarkable work done at UHN.

Join the Synapse Wellness Challenge starting today – Monday May 16, 2022. As UHN transitions to the new health information system (HIS) powered by Epic, it is important to work together to manage stress levels and support the well-being of TeamUHN. Encourage your colleagues to complete one daily task that supports the overall wellness of your team and be entered in a draw to win prizes. Full details on how to track your activities are available here (Intranet > Departments > Wellness > What's New > Synapse Challenge). Tips and other strategies to support wellness are also available on the Wellness intranet page.

May 19th is Personal Support Worker (PSW) Day in Ontario, a chance to express our gratitude to PSWs who play an essential role in our healthcare system. PSWs have been some of the greatest unsung heroes of the pandemic, effectively keeping our long-term care system afloat. These valued professionals provide community and home-based care to some of our most vulnerable citizens. PSWs give crucial support to persons who need assistance with daily living, including personal care and hygiene. In collaboration with CAP and UHN Education, we are in the process of developing an advanced PSW curriculum to support the ongoing education and skill development of our more than 400 UHN PSWs working in acute care and at Toronto Rehab. This will standardize our UHN approach to the expectations of the PSW role and support our nursing colleagues by allowing PSWs to be credentialed to perform delegated acts, as well as provide bridging and pathway opportunities toward RPN and RN education. We recognize and thank these valued colleagues!


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Have a good week,


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