​In this week's Looking Ahead, I continue with an update on our plans and areas of focus for 2016/17. Again – I've included the areas of focus below and this week's topic is Patient Experience:

  • Purpose, Values and Principles & Strategy
  • Clinical Optimization
  • Caring Safely
  • Patient Experience
  • Team Engagement
  • IT Transformation
  • Michener Integration
  • Research and Innovation

As you know, Dr. Joy Richards, Vice President of Patient Experience & Chief of Health Professions is leading this area. Her focus, and that of her team's, will continue to be the integration of patients' voices in our processes and decisions, the use of the deep knowledge our Patient Relations and Bioethics teams have so that UHN can address systemic issues that our patients bring forward, and the enhancement of patient materials from Patient Education so that we can support and encourage patients, family members and friends as partners in care with the health professionals at UHN.

Part of our work to improve the patient experience is also understanding the directions of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Toronto Central LHIN with respect to the health care system's movement towards population health management; working with them to ensure that patients receive the right care at the right time in the right setting and, in this effort, partnering with other local hospitals, family physicians, health care organizations and community agencies to improve overall health outcomes. The work of the S.C.O.P.E team under the leadership of Dr. Pauline Pariser and Kathy Sabo will serve us well in this area as well as our experience gained through many other initiatives focused on improving patient transitions such as the Discharge Summary Initiative, the Nurse-led Long-term Care Outreach Team and the Telemedicine IMPACT Plus Project, to name a few.

This morning we had Minister Charles Sousa and Minister Eric Hoskins with us to talk about the funding for hospitals which was announced last week in the Province's budget. This link will take you to UHN's story about the budget which also has links to the Ontario Hospital Association's summary of what the budget contains for health care and hospitals and a link to the entire budget document. We were very pleased that UHN was named to receive capital support for the expansion of our stem cell transplantation area at Princess Margaret and we will continue to work with Cancer Care Ontario to ensure that the appropriate operating funds are also available to support this important treatment. One of the most critical parts of the patient experience is access to care and so this investment will help in improving access for patients needing stem cell transplantation.

The other investment is to hospitals' base funding and in UHN's case, this will amount to about $20 million which will help bring us closer to our budget target if we continue with the work that has started to hold to budgeted volumes. I know that this is a particularly difficult time for our Emergency Departments especially with St. Michael's Emergency Department largely out of service last week and so I will spend some time in our EDs in the coming weeks to assess how these areas are coping and to determine how the organization can help.​

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