Advisory: Give yourself extra time when travelling by car to Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or Toronto Rehab University Centre. City of Toronto construction on University Ave. may cause delays.
At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Patients at Toronto Rehab are now getting in the door much earlier. And, when it comes to rehabilitation, how soon a patient starts affects their recovery.
You might think reducing wait times comes at a cost – more infrastructure, more staff, more hours. But it turns out it's possible to offer patients care faster by simply making it easier for people to do their work.
The secret is getting rid of the so-called red tape, or the wasteful steps in processes, making the whole system run smoother.
"We're starting to realize that the best, and only, way to solve big, complex problems is to work with the people doing the job to solve the small, simple problems," says Cathy Irwin, manager, Neurology Services Clinic, Toronto Rehab.
Three clinics at Toronto Rehab have shown what it is possible to achieve with process improvement:
The managers explain how they did it.
"Our patients are coming in earlier than they used to," says Georgeta Savu, manager, Stroke Rehab manager, Outpatient Rehab Clinic, Toronto Rehab. "We are maximizing the availability of our clinicians during the times of the day patients most prefer."
Stroke outpatient rehab clinic patients need to see up to three clinicians in one day, three days a week, for at least four weeks. It's a scheduling challenge that the team used to manage by meeting once a week to find a way to fit in all their new patients.
By finding a new way to schedule, the team can now come up with appointments as soon as the referral is received. The team meets for a weekly huddle to discuss wait time, therapy sessions and other key metrics.
"You have to be adaptable," says Georgeta. "In order to make any changes work, you've got to be prepared to measure them, evaluate and make changes when necessary. Most importantly the team knows their goal, and came up with the solutions themselves. It's a significant change and one that was achieved by the team."
Staff in the Physician Clinic at Toronto Rehab eliminated a 117-day delay from their process by reducing the number of steps in the process from 70 to 25 and implementing a visual management system. They now call patients the same day a referral is received. The clinic manager, William Cachia, is applying the lessons he learned from that experience to the outpatient therapy clinic he also manages.
"We know there are opportunities to reduce wait times in this clinic," says William. "Our first step is to understand the flow within the clinic. We need accurate, real-time knowledge of the wait time, and we need to identify the contributing factors before we can set a goal and begin pursuing it.
"The hardest part, which the staff have been great with, is cultivating a change mindset by making it clear to the team that this is about getting better, not pointing fingers."
The Neurology Services clinic provides assessments for people with neurological injuries sustained on the job who are referred by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). In the past it took an average of 24 days for the clinic team to admit a patient after receiving the referral. In just two months, the team reduced that time to 18 days and patients are now initially contacted four days earlier.
"I was skeptical at first about the value of visual management," says Cathy. "I've been pleasantly surprised at how effectively it's driven change without a lot of effort on our part. We haven't done anything radical, just made it easy to see our performance at a glance, and started daily discussions about problems we're facing."
"Managers are inherently problem solvers," says Cathy. "I've had to learn to pause and reflect on how to get to the root cause of the problem rather than just reactively putting out fires, which doesn't permanently solve the problem and sometimes causes further issues downstream."