Good Monday morning,

1) Let's start by focusing on great news for safety and our patient experience:

  • UHN's new bed map is helping Ontario end hallway medicine: Many of you know we've redesigned the way we manage our beds at Toronto General to relieve some of our service pressures – I'm happy to report that staff and patients are starting to see some very positive outcomes.
    • Improved care and efficiency: Now that General Internal Medicine (GIM) patients are managed across three units instead of spaced throughout Toronto General, staff no longer have to travel all over the hospital to see their patients. And, almost all newly admitted patients are being transferred to our wards in a real bed, not waiting on a stretcher in the hallway. Our staff are able to assess and counsel patients appropriately and to have difficult conversations when necessary in private – not in a crowded waiting area because there's nowhere else to go.
    • Nurses are caring for patients in their specialty: With UHN's new bed map, patients are in the right place receiving the specialized multidisciplinary care they need. I know this was an area of particular concern for our staff and am grateful to everyone at Toronto General FM-PRO (Facilities Management – Planning, Development & Operations) and beyond who helped deliver these important solutions.
    • More of what I'm hearing thus far: I had the chance to talk to some of our GIM physicians including Drs. Lisa Richardson and Robert Wu and they told me that the conversations with our patients are back to the things that matter – what's wrong and what we're doing to help – instead of when they'll get a bed upstairs. Most importantly, "Care is better".
    • Still work to be done: Overall patient flow is improving but we're waiting for the new unit to be in full operation. Flu season is also just starting so we'll have to see how TeamUHN is able to manage with an even larger volume of patients.

2) Next, I had a chance to discuss artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare at the 2018 TECHNA Symposium chaired by Dr. David Jaffray (Executive Vice President, Technology & Innovation). Canada is fortunate to have one of the highest concentrations of AI talent in the world and UHN is proud to support that talent and partner with renowned leaders in AI including the Vector Institute. If we are to truly live up to our purpose, though, we must maximize our efforts to unleash the power of innovation and technology at UHN. A key ingredient will be partnering with frontline staff and patients and unlocking their potential as vital contributors to research and scholarship.

3) I also had the privilege of attending the 2018 Haifa University Mount Carmel dinner honouring Dr. Michael Baker, Physician-in-Chief Emeritus at UHN and the Rose Family Chair in Palliative Medicine and Complex Care. He was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa from Haifa University for his lifetime contributions to science and medicine and to the State of Israel. Michael has UHN in his blood – which is good since he's a hematologist! And, when you meet him, you can immediately tell he embodies everything we value at UHN – so this dinner was a joyous occasion and something many of us looked forward to attending. Michael is respected across UHN for his significant contributions to healthcare and we are grateful to have his wise counsel.

4) Speaking of remarkable members of TeamUHN, we celebrated some of our longest serving staff at UHN's annual 25-year long service dinner. Serving 25 years at any organization is remarkable but to do so in healthcare – at UHN no less with some of Canada's most complex patients – is something else. I'll take this opportunity to thank you all for your enduring commitment to those we serve and for helping us deliver excellence across care, research and education. This is a high performing organization and that relies on your very hard work – so thank you for coming in every day and giving our patients and communities so much of your energy and passion.

Have a good week,


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