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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.

 Technology  This past weekend, all phones were down at Toronto Western significantly impacting team workflow and coordination of care. Many of the phones across our sites are old and supported by aging infrastructure in need of constant attention. In this case, the A/C shut down at Toronto Western and the backup A/C failed to come online as it should have, causing the phone systems to overheat and fail. Thanks to great teamwork (the theme of this week's update), we were able to stay afloat. Colleagues in FM-PRO (Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations) were quick to contact UHN Digital to resolve the issue. These dedicated teams deserve to take a bow – especially Toronto Western Digital Site Lead Candice Newell and Digital Technical Lead Tom Goldthorpe, who were instrumental over the weekend. A debrief will be held next week.

 Quality and Safety  Visiting Toronto Western's unit on 8B and preventing outbreaks: 8B's norovirus outbreak was thankfully declared over last week and I had the chance to meet some members of UHN's interprofessional General Internal Medicine team who helped hold down the fort. Thanks to Unit Manager Janet Pilgrim for allowing me to disrupt 8B's day for a few moments and hear about the events leading up to the outbreak. In this case, the lesson learned relates to following Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) precautions. We can continue to keep patients and TeamUHN safe by ensuring we put on appropriate personal protective equipment and doing so in the correct order:

  1. Hand hygiene
  2. Gown
  3. Mask
  4. Eye protection
  5. Gloves (last)

When removing these items, start with your gloves, then gown and perform hand hygiene before coming in contact with your face. Next remove eye protection, then mask and perform hand hygiene again. Personal protective equipment does not replace hand hygiene – so please ensure hand hygiene is followed before and after all patient care activities as well.

 Compassionate Care and Caring  Last week, I received a letter complimenting the outstanding work of Toronto General's Emergency Department and Toronto Western's TAMS (Transient Ischemic Attack And Minor Stroke) Unit. Manny Makris, a patient we had the privilege of serving, was impressed by TeamUHN's "over and above professionalism, dedication, knowledge, patience and most surprisingly, yet most highly appreciated by me, a real sense of the human equation and the 'person' at the core of my dilemma." He gives a special shout out to Karl Grenier, Leanne Casaubon, Anne Cayley, Fraser Closson and Jessica Faulkner for their impact on his life. Here here! Reading patient compliments is one of the highlights of my job and it's always a pleasure when exemplary, compassionate care is brought to my attention. 

 Operational Excellence  A note on redirected cases and their impact on TeamUHN: UHN's primary value is putting the needs of patients first but our success in that is directly linked with TeamUHN's well-being. Thanks to Leanne Casaubon who – in addition to making a difference in Manny Makris' life amongst many other things! – pointed out an oversight from last week. When I mentioned that UHN's Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) is taking on redirected interventional radiology cases from Trillium and Sunnybrook, I neglected to mention the impact on UHN's interprofessional Stroke Team who stepped up to deliver acute medical care for all of the stroke patients transferred for stroke endovascular procedures. Great work with JDMI. While I'm on the subject of redirected cases, I'll say that UHN always stands ready to help but we must address our realities as well. When we receive a high number of cases from other hospital regions, it can be challenging to safely manage workloads and we increase our risk of burnout on TeamUHN. Tracking down solutions ASAP.

2. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

The sole focus of last week's Executive Leadership Forum meeting relates to the note I sent on Friday about next steps for Toronto General. As mentioned, we are looking at UHN's overall structure and maximizing the alignment of Program Medical Directors and Clinical Directors, as well as the Vice Presidents. Performance and superior results have always defined UHN but moving forward, we will also be defined by the highest levels of respect and civility and addressing the opportunities for improvement our staff and physician survey revealed. No individual on TeamUHN will be considered a top performer unless they demonstrate consistent collegiality. That's a promise you can take to the bank!

3. Spiritual and religious services at UHN for patients and TeamUHN – including monthly Catholic masses 

Many of you know we offer spiritual services for patients and families including a Centre for Spiritual Reflection at all sites, a Musalla (Muslim prayer) room at Toronto General and Toronto Western, and beyond. In putting the needs of patients first, we commit to supporting all faiths and aspects of spirituality through the lens of diversity and inclusion. We also know it's just as important to support TeamUHN in terms of mind, body and soul. So – as an expansion of the services we already offer – we have responded to your numerous requests to hold Catholic mass at UHN. Mass services are scheduled once a month across sites. See details here. For questions about all the spiritual services we offer, please check the Spiritual Care Intranet page or message Marc Doucet (Manager/Clinical Educator, Department of Spiritual Care).

4. rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation​) clinic helping UHN lead the integration of physical and mental health 

Thanks to Jonathan Downar for showing me around the rTMS clinic, part of UHN's Centre for Mental Health at our Toronto Western site. Leading the integration of physical and mental health is a key part of UHN's contribution to A Healthier World. We are thrilled to have the rTMS clinic and other committed groups at UHN already leading the charge and setting new standards of care. The clinic helps tackle accessibility barriers in mental health treatment and sees around 80 people a day thanks to the 3-minute treatments developed by Jonathan and esteemed colleagues at UHN, the University of British Columbia and CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). For those interested in learning more, allow me to assign some reading from UHN News​.

Have a good week, 

Kevin​

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