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

  • Tomorrow on Feb. 23 (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.) – Virtual Open Forum on COVID-19: Read answers to FAQs here – updated regularly. (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > Virtual Open Forum (top right box) > Open Forum FAQ). Submit questions here or enter #UHNCOVID-19x40 on Livestream here (Chrome/Firefox).
  • Important change to screening at UHN entrances: Effective Wednesday, Feb. 24, you will be required to use UHN's digital screening tool ( while showing your ID badge – or answer questions from the screeners – when entering any UHN location. This includes non-clinical sites such as OPG. For more context, read "What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS" below.
  • COVID-19 vaccines: Book your appointment as soon as you and your group are invited – you'll help save lives and expedite our return to an environment where everyone can safely visit external family members and loved ones. This is a critical time with the increasing emergence of variants of concern. Federal and provincial data show we are headed towards a Wave 3 and we need to vaccinate people as fast as supply allows. Sign up for UHN's Vaccine Registry [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] if you haven't already (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > Vaccine).
  • Hand hygiene remains a critical defense against transmission of disease – please make a point of discussing this with your colleagues: We just received our Q3 report from IPAC (Infection Prevention & Control):
    • Good news: Hand hygiene compliance overall is at 88% which is above the provincial average of 86% – however that number is short of our internal UHN target of 90%.
    • Opportunities for improvement: Our colleagues at Toronto General are working with IPAC to understand why overall compliance rates have gone down by 10%. Our rate of C. Difficile infection across all acute sites remains high. Unit managers will receive unit-level reports and site-level reports will be posted soon on the Corporate Intranet. Remember that your local infection control practitioner and IPAC's hand hygiene coordinator are happy to support strategies for improvement.

What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS Table

In response to the concerning state of COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.

Important change: Moving to active screening at the entrances

  • Background: Ontario's Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is focused on workplace health and safety, employment standards and labour relations. We recently received a visit from the Ministry of Labour and were advised to implement a more active screening process for TeamUHN. In response, we have increased the level of participation required upon entering the building (the current practice, which will be soon outdated, is to only show your ID badge and say "no symptoms"). Starting on Wednesday, Feb. 24, you must either attest using in addition to showing your ID badge or by answering questions from the screeners.
  • Who presented? Janet Newton (Vice President, Clinical), Diana Elder (Vice President, Human Resources) and Tamara Dus (Director, Health Services)
  • What do I need to know? This change is effective Wednesday, Feb. 24. Consider completing the questions on in advance of your arrival to minimize waiting, especially as you familiarize yourself with the updated series of questions. Remember to demonstrate compassion for the screeners who are not responsible for this change.

COVID-19 vaccines: Strengthening our use of data, analytics and insight

  • Background: Information continues to change quickly during the pandemic, reinforcing our need for real-time data so that we can better anticipate demand, influence ongoing pandemic planning, and inform clinical activity recovery decisions. Thanks to Michael Caesar (Executive Director, Data & Implementation Science) and the Data & Implementation Science team, UHN's Executive COVID-19 IMS Table now has access to a central resource for COVID-19 analytics and dashboards. The MAC (Medical Advisory Committee) and COG-MLC (Clinical Operations Group-Medical Leadership Committee) also have access. The resource pulls together the UHN COVID-19 Vaccine Program Dashboard, Executive Real-time UHN COVID-19 Dashboard, Executive TeamUHN COVID-19 Testing Dashboard, Personal Protective Equipment Dashboard & Modelling, Clinical Activity Recovery & Physical Space Modeling and more.
  • Who presented? Emily Musing (Vice President, Clinical) and Rebecca Repa (Executive Vice President, Clinical Support and Performance)
  • What do I need to know? You can see what the centralized COVID-19 Data & Insights resource looks like here (some dashboards will be restricted) (Corporate Intranet > Data, Analytics & Insight > "Click here to access COVID-19 Data..."). To learn more, please contact

What happened at the Executive Leadership Forum meeting

UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) 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. See the full membership on The last ELF meeting was held on Feb. 18, 2021.

Synapse update: Supporting a high quality experience for Working Groups

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: The Synapse Working Groups will be making many critical decisions over the next few months. In partnership with leaders across UHN, the members of ELF were asked to help Working Group members by clearing non-essential work off their plate and ensuring they have enough time to participate in Synapse work. We also discussed the importance of every program using Epic, our Health Information System vendor of choice, so we are able to deliver a single source of truth for the patient journey. We are confident Epic will meet UHN's needs as it has met the needs of our colleagues at Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, The Ottawa Hospital and beyond.
  • Who presented? Robert Slepin (Senior Project Director, HIS), Sarah Muttitt (Chief Information Officer)
  • What do I need to know? Synapse is one of UHN's top priorities. However, quality of work life for TeamUHN is another top priority – which means we are focused on managing workload and reducing stress for everyone involved. As part of our role as a top research hospital, we are looking at collecting and measuring data on stress and burnout.

Accreditation Canada update: Working to protect TeamUHN quality of work life

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: UHN's next Accreditation survey is currently scheduled for December 2021. Given the increased workload and stress brought on by the pandemic, in addition to the need to focus on Synapse, we are in discussion with Accreditation Canada on deferring and/or modifying the visit. Accreditation gives us valuable feedback on what we are doing well and where there are opportunities for improvement – however the members of ELF are concerned about how an on-site survey could negatively impact the well-being of TeamUHN.
  • Who presented? Elisa Chimonides (Manager, Accreditation and Partnerships), Emily Musing (Vice President, Clinical)
  • What do I need to know? We are working with Accreditation Canada to potentially include virtual components in the Accreditation survey so that we can effectively respond to the needs of patients and the health system, protect the mental health and well-being of TeamUHN, while ensuring we are meeting best practice standards.

Overview of last week

1. The Michener Institute of Education is launching a new program to advance digitally and data-enabled healthcare

  • Background: The Michener Institute of Education at UHN is creating a new Digital Health and Data Analytics Program. As Canada's only "school within a hospital" dedicated exclusively to healthcare education, Michener is uniquely positioned to prepare healthcare professionals for increasingly critical fields such as digital health, data science and machine learning. The program curriculum was informed by an international Program Advisory Council (PAC), who have also expressed interest in hiring graduates from this program.
  • What happened last week? This program and UHN's work to advance digitally and data-enabled healthcare was presented at the recent Michener/UHN Board Education Committee. The committee is chaired by Cornell Wright (UHN Trustee).
  • What do I need to know? The new Digital Health and Data Analytics Program is designed to be pragmatic, practical and job oriented – giving graduates the skills and knowledge to care for patients in an increasingly machine and data-driven healthcare environment. Following academic approval, the program will launch in September 2021. Application information will be available in early March. Interested individuals can request admissions updates by emailing

Closing notes

  • Last week, UHN's Board of Trustees met for our quarterly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17. We will be sending a focused recap of the discussion this week.


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Have a good week,


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