​As I mentioned in last week's Looking Ahead we have been hard at work on the first phases of strategic planning. For those of you who aren't sure what this means, strategic planning is an organization's way of defining its priorities. The plan helps guide decisions on allocating resources to achieve an organization's vision, and ensures employees and stakeholders are working towards common goals.

Coming together to refresh and redefine our Purpose, Values & Principles (PVP) was a critical first step in this process. The PVP truly provides the foundation on which we are building our strategic plan and how we will operate the organization.

As we began this process we knew that we could not be blind to the reality that health care is changing at a rapid pace. With the emergence of new technology and an aging population, the demands on our system are shifting considerably. Along with the PVP, this will shape our direction for this planning process. We have created ambitious goals that we will be working towards in this, and future strategic plans. These goals will encompass and reflect patient care, education and research domains.

​As we plan for our future, we cannot forget our present and so part of the strategic planning process will involve creating three year roadmaps for some of our current Areas of Focus. At the beginning of 2016/17, we described eight Areas of Focus and outlined them on our Renewing UHN website:

  • PVP & Strategy
  • Team Engagement
  • Caring Safely
  • Clinical Optimization
  • Patient Experience
  • Research and Innovation
  • IT Transformation
  • Michener Integration

A lot of work related to the areas above has been completed this year, so we are reducing and refining our eight Areas to five for 2017/18. We will build these five Areas of Focus into our new strategic plan, along with our ambitious, long range goals to make sure we have our attention on both today and tomorrow. The five areas of focus are Caring Safely, Team Engagement, Patient Experience, IT Transformation, and what's currently known as Clinical Optimization (more information below).  Work happening in these areas will be critical to UHN's success, as we work to embed these priorities into our everyday work. For example, Caring Safely is an ongoing journey for UHN – each day we are working to weave a safety culture into the fabric of UHN, making the organization safer for both staff and patients.

Over the last year the work that's taken place under Clinical Optimization has begun to evolve and shift. The operational review conducted last summer by Ernst & Young (E&Y) identified a number of opportunities to ensure we are using our resources in the best way possible. To help us optimize the way we work and deliver care, we have established the Office of Stewardship and Sustainability (OSS) to lead these initiatives. This work is about creating a more efficient UHN – not just on the clinical side, but throughout the organization. As a result, this area has truly evolved into supporting Operational Excellence, a sustained, systematic approach to improving operating processes, and fundamentally changing the way we work. So for 2017/18 we will be shifting this area of focus, from Clinical Optimization to Operational Excellence, because we all have a key role to play in achieving excellence.

Throughout March and April I will be providing more information at a series of Town Halls about our strategic planning process so far; Areas of Focus today and the ambitious future goals we are striving towards, what we're doing differently this time around and how this will impact you. There will be a Q and A session, as well as time for you to chat with me and members of the team working on this plan. I encourage you to come and learn more about this important next step in UHN's journey of renewal:

  • Toronto Western: Wednesday, March 15th, 2:30 – 3:30pm, BMO Conference Centre
  • Toronto Rehab – Lyndhurst & Rumsey: Wednesday, March 22nd, 12 – 1pm, Lecture Rooms A & B
  • Toronto General: Friday, March 24th, 10:30am – 11:30pm, De Gasperis Conservatory
  • Princess Margaret: Thursday, March 30th, 12 – 1PM, 7th Floor Atrium
  • Toronto Rehab – Bickle Centre: Thursday, March 30th, 2:30 – 3:30pm, Auditorium
  • Toronto Rehab – University Centre: Monday, April 3rd, 1 – 2pm, 2nd Floor Auditorium
  • Michener Institute: Friday, April 28th, 12 – 1pm, Schatz Hall, 5th Floor Lounge


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