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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. 

Compassionate Care and Caring  UHN’s nursing to patient ratios – we’ve finished gathering the necessary data and are now starting to implement the right staffing levels and mix:Last year, UHN conducted 13,000 Acuity Based Staffing assessments on 32 units across UHN. This work has been led by Joy Richards (Chief Health Professions). What they found is that our nursing (Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses) to patient ratios aren’t matching our acuity care needs on several units. So, we are now working to implement the right ratios and skill mix across UHN to better serve patients, families and TeamUHN. This will occur in two phases: Phase 1 – natural attrition and Phase 2 – net new nursing positions. This approach allows us to avoid job loss and to reinvest all savings into additional nursing resources (more than 20 new positions across UHN). My thanks to Joy Richards, Karen Martin, the project team and our colleagues in Human Resources for this work.

Environments  Many thanks to the Allogeneic Transplant Clinic team and the Leukemia Clinic team for meeting with me and Ingrid Yu – it seems that not one inch of space is going unused at Princess Margaret. While it was great to hear about their remarkable work in service of patients and caregivers, we couldn’t help but notice the scarcity of working space. Not ideal as we know how quality of work life is closely linked to patient quality and safety. When asked about one thing that would improve TeamUHN’s quality of work life, they said a new Health Information System – which is coming – but also more space to better serve patients. My take is we have reasons to be optimistic for the future. We’re launching our Integrated Comprehensive Care program in June which means more and more patients will be receiving quality care outside of the hospital, we’re looking at more virtual care options, and our colleagues in Human Resources are also looking at more remote work options for members of TeamUHN. 

Allogeneic Transplant Team

Our Allogeneic Transplant Team.

Leukemia Clinic Team

Our Leukemia Clinic Team.

Quality and Safety  Last year, UHN experienced approximately 2,000 reported workplace safety incidents: Creating a safe environment for TeamUHN is our shared responsibility. In honour of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, Grace Ivo and I stopped by one of the awareness booths. Happy to report we were able to answer all skill-testing safety questions (although I’ll argue that Grace should have lost a few marks as she named me as one of the safety risks in her environment!).

North American Occupational Safety and Health Week

People and Culture  The question with the most votes at UHN’s Nursing Forum: “How can we encourage the representation of nurses in decision-making processes that impact their work?” Last week, I was invited to attend our Nursing Forum and answered questions submitted anonymously by our nursing colleagues. What we are aiming to deliver across UHN is a standard of transparent, highly consultative decision-making – one that elevates all disciplines and most importantly, patients and caregivers. We are very focused right now on UHN’s organizational design and identifying where we need clarity and simplicity in decision-making processes. Of course, structural change must also be supported by a strong culture. Stay tuned for updates as we remove unnecessary red tape and empower a diverse TeamUHN. 

Compassionate Care and Caring  UHN receives 2019 Innovation Award for being one of the first organizations in Canada to establish an organized MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) program: MAID is based on the principle that patients are equal partners in their care – it is thus a critical part of our care mission if we are to put the needs of patients first. UHN’s MAID program is one of the most rigorous in Canada, as we require three independent medical opinions to determine a person’s eligibility that’s separate from the opinion of the primary care provider. We are proud to receive this recognition from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario in partnership with Cancer Care Ontario. For more information, visit our MAID page here.

2. Celebrating members of TeamUHN at our long-service teas – starting with Toronto General 

We award members of TeamUHN with long-service pins starting at the 5-year milestone, then 10 years, 15 and so on. It’s a proud UHN tradition. Last week, we had our Spring Long-service Tea at Toronto General and I look forward to attending the upcoming teas at Princess Margaret and Toronto Western (and Toronto Rehab - their ceremony is in June). Before I move onto the next item, a special shout out to the remarkable people below who have served more than 40 (!!) years. 

40 Years – Based at UHN’s Toronto General site

• Asha R Patel, Cardiovascular Investigation

• Maria Silva, General Medicine Transplant

• Denese A. Wishart, Home Peritoneal Dialysis

• Carole Ryan, Physicians Secretaries

• Anita Veronica Talunay, Physicians Secretaries

• Janet Fraser, Sheppard Centre

• Judith Ann Kaldor, Transfusion Medicine

45 Years – Based at UHN’s Toronto General site

• K. Wayne Johnston, Vascular Surgery – who was at Rideau Hall last week to be formally invested into the Order of Canada. We are so proud Wayne calls UHN home!

3. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

For those wondering about the who’s who of our Executive Leadership Forum, here's a new Intranet page you can look at explaining its purpose and membership. In support of open and transparent communication at UHN, we share agenda items that are discussed at our bi-weekly Executive Leadership Forum meetings. Last week, we received an update on Accreditation – the purpose was to identify what information our Board of Trustees needs to know about this external assessment process – and our multi-organ transplant program

Have a good week,  

Kevin

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