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Good Morning UHN Team:
I wanted to reach out again this week to share a little bit of what I am seeing, doing, and learning as I settle in and meet more of you. I continue to be so grateful for the warm welcome that I receive in hallways, on elevators, and outside the buildings as I chat with as many of you as I can.
UHN this week started with a visit from the federal Minister for Seniors, the Honourable Alice Wong, who came to announce the funding for AGE-WELL, a national effort to use technology to benefit seniors and assist people with remaining in their homes and staying healthy for as long as possible. This collaboration is federally funded (over $36 million) and led by Dr. Alex Mihailidis of Toronto Rehab. The Minister was shown a number of technological devices developed at Toronto Rehab which can assist seniors with their rehabilitation. To read a bit more and watch the video:
http://www.uhn.ca/corporate/News/Pages/Toronto_Rehab_to_host_Age_Well.aspx. On Monday we also had huge media attention for Dr. David Alter's study which essentially says that prolonged sitting is a health hazard. He suggests getting up and moving for between a minute and three minutes every hour – advice I'm going to personally take to heart!
As I meet with people throughout UHN I am asking how we can make our organization as safe and secure a place for patients, families and staff as possible. This week I was at Atrium on Bay, meeting with the people from SIMS and it was clear that everyone I met there was committed to security, privacy and innovation throughout UHN's IT systems. I also met with staff from Security later in the week and there was no shortage of great ideas about safety and security. It was clear to me that our Security staff are so committed to support our patients and staff. They consistently look for opportunities to make our environment safer for all of us and they provide assistance to patients and families who need help navigating our buildings.
I also had the opportunity on Wednesday of joining the Steering Committee responsible for the Advanced Clinical Documentation (ACD) project. I am very grateful and impressed with the work that has been done to understand the benefits and costs to the organization of implementing a new information system. We plan to take an ACD plan to the Board of Trustees at the annual retreat in April. ACD is a major investment for UHN, so we need to get it right and we need to take time to make sure we understand everything about it in terms of staffing, technology and finances. We are doing all of this to make UHN a safer and more convenient place for our patients and a better place for all staff.
And finally, Emily Musing sent along the report from Health Quality Ontario about the Quality Improvement indicators for Ontario hospitals. You can see the full report at
http://www.hqontario.ca/Portals/0/documents/qi/qip-analysis-hospitals-2013-en.pdf. UHN's program for reducing C. difficile is mentioned with specific reference to our efforts on positive deviance and handwashing before initial contact with patients. These indicators are focused on quality of care and patient safety and they help to emphasize the point that we all share responsibility for patient safety.
I will continue to reach out regularly as I learn all about UHN. When you see me, please stop me, say hello and let's chat about your place and role in this great organization!