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.

Key reminders and updates

  • I was so proud to join UHN's partners, including federal Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen and Mayor John Tory, for the kick-off of the construction of the Social Medicine Supportive Housing project in Parkdale on Friday. This groundbreaking, first-in-Canada initiative, delivered in collaboration between UHN's Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine, United Way Greater Toronto, the City of Toronto, and the community, will provide safe, affordable housing for 51 people with complex health needs who are very frequent users of UHN services and from historically marginalized groups. This project has support from all levels of government and will make a real difference. Construction of a four-storey modular building at 150 Dunn Avenue is expected to be completed this fall. Learn more about the initiative at UHN News.
  • There will be a Virtual Open Forum focused on the Synapse project this week on Thursday, March 31 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. We look forward to answering your questions about the transition to a new health information system from Epic on June 4. Instructions on how to submit questions will come out tomorrow.
  • I'd like to ask all members of TeamUHN to please be diligent when accessing staff doors that no longer have screeners. We have to ensure that people who are not authorized to enter our sites are not able to tag along or "piggyback" behind TeamUHN members using the doors for staff. Please be mindful of this at all sites and do your part to keep UHN safe.
  • Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) has added a chart on the UHN's home Intranet page that shows what level we are at when it comes to educational and non-educational on-site activity at UHN, represented by one of three colours. Green, which means business as usual, as well as yellow and red. These thresholds are based on COVID per-cent positivity among staff. The framework, which includes recommendations on how to hold gatherings safely, is linked below the graph ("About Activity Levels") and posted on the Intranet. (COVID-19 Preparedness > IPAC > Education, Meetings, and Social Gathering Recommendations).
  • UHN plays a key role in the Mid-West Ontario Health Team which brings together over 100 partners. Pauline Pariser and John Yip have held the roles of co-chairs for several years. With John's departure, the Executive of the OHT and the all-partner table of some 60 agencies have endorsed Pauline as the Interim Chair until September. This underscores the confidence in Pauline's leadership in supporting all OHT partners beyond UHN. We are grateful to Pauline for taking on this critical role. Other members of the OHT Executive from UHN are Camille Lemieux, Andrew Boozary, and Brian Hodges, who is the UHN Executive Lead.
  • Epic training started last week with 140 virtual classes taught by Credentialed Trainers (CTs) and Specialist Trainers (STs) where 543 Super Users began building their expertise in using Epic. Congratulations to the CTs and STs for remaining calm and steady as they and the Epic Education team dealt with and resolved the small bumps in the road that are an expected part of any complex training program. One of the biggest challenges was participants showing up to class unprepared in two ways:
    1. They hadn't completed the pre-class eLearnings, which slowed their learning
    2. They hadn't ensured their computer met the technical requirements, which caused disruptions and delays for all class participants

    Everyone who will be attending Epic training is expected to complete these two prerequisites to improve their own learning experience and demonstrate respect for classmates and instructors. Learn more.

What happened at the Senior Management Forum meeting

UHN's Senior Management Forum (SMF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. SMF meets monthly. The last SMF meeting was held on March 24, 2022.

Synapse update

  • Background and why this was brought to SMF: The Synapse project is our clinical transformation of the care experience for patients and providers and it includes transitioning to a new health information system (HIS) powered by Epic on June 4, 2022. Project leads provided an update to the Senior Management Forum on training registration and preparation, appointment conversion, cutover, the Technical Dress Rehearsal (TDR), and what's ahead for readiness.
  • Who Presented? Chelsea King (Change Management and Benefit Realizations Lead), Ivanka Hanley (Sr. Manager, Training & Education), Jennifer Hope (Project Director, End User Devices), Mary Beth Carpenter (Manager, Enterprise Scheduling), and Saket Harshe (Senior Manager, Digital Health)
  • What do I need to know:
    • Training: Super User Training began on March 21, which is a significant project milestone, and as of March 23, more than 80% of staff and physicians are registered for Epic training. The focus now is to close that gap while also getting fellows, residents, and other learners registered. It's imperative that all class participants complete the required tech-check and eLearnings prior to class out of respect for everyone's time and to improve their own experience and learning.
    • Appointment conversion: Scheduling and registration teams begin using Epic on May 16 to book patient appointments that will take place after June 4. Current appointments in the legacy systems will be converted during Appointment Conversion Weekend (May 14-15). A total of 410 staff will be needed to help with appointment conversion during that weekend. Recruitment of registration staff from JDMI is complete, but more staff are needed from Outpatient Clinics and Physician Offices, Cardiology, Endoscopy, and Surgery. The deadline is Wednesday, March 30.
    • Cutover: This complex and highly-coordinated process that will happen June 1-3 involves making sure that all visits and orders for in-hospital inpatient and emergency patients are manually transferred prior to Epic go-live (June 4, 2022). Dry-runs, where cutover participants will simulate the cutover process to ensure it will run smoothly in June, will be held on March 30 and April 27. Directors are working with managers to help identify dry-run participants as well as meet the April 15 deadline for recruiting participants for the main event in June.
    • Technical Dress Rehearsal: The testing of every non-medical device used with Epic continues across UHN until June 1, with more than 40% tested already. The End User Device Readiness Dashboard is updated weekly. As of last week, more than 75% of Windows 7 devices across UHN have been upgraded or replaced. UHN has received almost 88% of the devices ordered for Epic. The majority of those devices have been deployed, except for the iPhones for Rover that will be deployed in May. We are expecting 624 monitors to be delivered this week.
    • What's ahead: ​Concurrent Charting, the process by which some clinical areas will have the chance to practice documenting in Epic, will occur in April and May. There will also be Patient Flow Days between April 20-22, where TeamUHN can attend virtual sessions with demonstrations of how common patient flows will look in Epic and Q&A discussions on integrated workflows and handoffs.

Closing Notes

Congratulations to Mary Lollar who recently marked her 730th consecutive day running, a truly remarkable feat captured by CityNews. Mary, who works as an administrative assistant in the division of respirology at Toronto General, took up running at the beginning of the pandemic and told CityNews she kept going each day for those arriving at hospitals with COVID. "I think to myself, I can do this and there's millions that can't," she said. Mary is retiring on March 31. We thank her for her many years of service and for inspiring so many members of TeamUHN during such a difficult period.

Congratulations to Robert Brussolo on his retirement after 44 years at UHN! Robert first started working at UHN in 1978, as a part-time dietary porter for Versa Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Over the years Robert has been an important part of many changes that have occurred in the Nutrition Department including the introduction of cook/freeze food production, transition from hot tray assembly to cold plating, and the University Centre becoming the tray assembly hub for much of Toronto Rehab. Robert has been in his current role as a Store Person since 1997, where he maintains the flow of food and supplies in and out of the University Centre Kitchen. Robert is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, children and grandchild as well as getting a few rounds of golf in.

Congratulations to Susan Nash on her retirement after 40 years of service at UHN! Susan first started at Toronto General in 1981 on 14 Eaton (General Medicine) providing care to patients with Cardiac, Hematologic, and Gastrointestinal illnesses as well as Home TPN patients. Susan worked in the TGH relief pool when she went back to school to complete her BScN before transferring to the Vascular Surgery where she worked as a Research Coordinator for a drug trial for arterial leg ulcers. Upon completion of this trial, Susan provided time data collection for a Radiology Research Trial. After her work in research, Susan returned to the bedside in vascular surgery and urology before transferring to the MSICU where she has been an integral part of the team for well over 20 years. Susan holds a Canadian Nurses Association in Critical Care and is a vital member of the Critical Care Response Team. Over the years, Susan has dedicated her career to the provision of quality patient care.

You will soon notice a 40-foot flagpole outside of Toronto General, part of a new fundraising campaign from JDRF to fund research to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D). At this location and in four other spots across the country, people impacted by T1D will live in a structure atop the pole for 100 hours – from April 4 to 8 – to raise $15 million towards JDRF's $100-million campaign. Vanessa Oliver, diagnosed with T1D at six, will be atop the flagpole at Toronto General. More than 30 years ago, her father, Peter, spent a week atop a 40-foot pole in Toronto to raise money for diabetes research, saying that balancing up there was like the balancing act of life and death decisions faced each day by those with T1D. The event coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first clinical use of insulin, given at Toronto General on Jan. 23, 1922. Learn more about the campaign here.


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Have a good week,


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