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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. 

 Operational Excellence  Discussing Minister Christine Elliott’s announcement with Matt Galloway, host of CBC’s Metro Morning (listen here ): I’ll be talking more about this at today’s Open Forum but for now, I’ll say that while these changes won’t have an immediate impact on our delivery of care, research and education, it does open doors for us to partner more ambitiously to manage the care of patients across their full journey. UHN is very well positioned to seize the opportunity ahead, especially with our plans with Integrated Coordinated Care which we’re now preparing to launch, starting with lung surgery and expanding to those ready, willing and able. Premier Doug Ford, Minister Elliott and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are committed to ending hallway medicine and UHN stands ready to help. We know that help requires rapid improvement in flow – so the sooner we see more capacity in Ontario the better! If you haven’t had a chance to read about the announcement, see the news release here

 Operational Excellence  How to help manage wait times for non-emergency patient transport: Thank you for your patience as we work to address our recurring non-emergency patient transport issues – something our peer hospitals across the city are struggling with as well. In the meantime, here are some things we can do to help. 

  • Book transport in advance: This is already happening in most parts of UHN, but a small additional improvement in this area will help significantly. So, please book transport when you know of the discharge (instead of when the patient is ready for discharge). 
  • Be considerate of patients waiting at our peer hospitals: When making pick-up requests by phone or online, indicate whether the patient needs to return to UHN. Otherwise, the vehicle may plan on driving to one of our peer hospitals after dropping off the patient – only to discover last minute that the patient needs to be returned to UHN, causing delays for many other patients. 
  • Continue to communicate: Please continue to raise issues at huddle so we can maintain situational awareness across UHN. Members of TeamUHN are asked to log incidents on this shared form here so we can use the data to make informed transport decisions. Thanks to our colleagues in the Office of Stewardship & Sustainability for leading this impactful work.

2. Making people feel safe, valued and heard at UHN – from patients through to the Board.  

I’ll share some troubling but important results: 53% of senior leaders at UHN don’t feel heard, according to a poll conducted last week at UHN’s inaugural Senior Management Forum retreat. 72% feel safe and 66% feel valued. The retreat included senior leaders across care, research and education at UHN and the conclusion from the group was, if senior leaders at UHN don’t feel safe, valued and heard, it’s not surprising if others on TeamUHN feel that way as well. We have lots of work to do. 

For context, the same poll was conducted the next night with an audience of healthcare leaders at a Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders event. Results were similar if not more severe: 65% feel safe, 55% feel valued, 35% feel heard and 15% feel none of these! With these results in mind, we need concrete suggestions and ideas as we work to create an environment that celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion – in the very broadest sense. Stay tuned for our draft plans which I hope you’ll critique.

3. Diversity of thought leads to better outcomes: Celebrating Black History Month and women in academic medicine

As good consumers of research, we know diverse perspectives lead to better outcomes . Diversity of course can come from diverse disciplines, and also diverse genders, backgrounds, socioeconomic situations and beyond. 

It was my pleasure to participate in this year’s Black History Month celebration at UHN. One of the most amazing events I’ve attended yet! Powerful storytelling based on lived experiences from the speakers and panellists who were generous enough to share their knowledge with us. Thank you to our colleagues Sylvia Welsh of UHN Digital and Dianne Barham of HR for co-chairing such a remarkable event, Jacqueline Silvera who leads much of our diversity work at UHN, and Emma Pavlov for her leadership in these efforts. 

I was also invited by our partners at the University of Toronto (U of T) to join their third annual Summit for Women in Academic Medicine as a panellist. Deepest thanks to Dr. Gillian Hawker (Chair, Department of Medicine, U of T), as well as my fellow panellists for the opportunity to engage in the valued discussion. With Black History Month, International Women’s Day and other important observances, we are not only reminded to acknowledge our unconscious biases – but to challenge them every day. I learned more about being an ally and the subtle but destructive behaviours of micro-aggression.

Have a good week,

Kevin

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