I’ll start this week by thanking everyone who sent their ideas to SavingsSuggestions2015-16@uhn.ca. We are very impressed with the responses filled with thoughtful ideas and the determination to help UHN meet the commitment to a balanced budget this year. Justine Jackson is looking at all the suggestions and soon we’ll send out a summary of the kinds of ideas that have come forward. In addition to the mailbox above, you can send your suggestions to this intranet page which is anonymous.

This week the focus is on the safety of our employees with North American Occupational Safety and Health Week running until May 9. UHN must be a safe place for patients, visitors and staff. Legislation in the Province of Ontario requires that everyone who works here must complete two mandatory courses every year: the Fire Safety and the Privacy courses for clinicians and non-clinical staff. There are other courses that all employees must complete as well. You can find the guide to all these courses by clicking here to get started.

Continuing on the theme of safety, here is a short video entitled 9 facts about medical errors you should know before entering a hospital. Yes – the statistics are from the U.S. – but in speaking with Emily Musing and Charlie Chan, our organizational leaders for quality and safety, they believe that the rates of preventable harm are the same in Canadian hospitals. This is why we have the aspiration to change things at UHN and become a High Reliability Organization (HRO). Dr. Donald Berwick is quoted at the end of the video: “There is no single medical intervention that will ever save as many lives as patient safety improvement.”

I recently travelled to Kuwait and met UHN’s team on the ground. It is clear that we are welcomed as partners in the Kuwait Cancer Control Centre’s mission of delivering high quality cancer care to their citizens and that our team in Kuwait is doing an outstanding job. We are in the early stages of talking about the next phase of our Kuwait relationship and I would welcome the thoughts and ideas of people from UHN who have been there as part of UHN’s team.

As I read the news about Nepal, I’d like to thank Edith Ng and Carol Scovil, two members of the Toronto Rehab team who have recently returned from a medical mission to Nepal. Their thoughts about that trip and the devastation in Nepal can be found on the intranet and in the Newsroom on the website. At the end there is a link to the Canadian charities which work around the world​ following disasters so that we may all learn about our fellow Canadians who answer the call to help mankind around the globe.


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