A Look Back at 2018

December 29, 2018

1 - Health System Partners Working Together to Improve Patient Flow in the City of Thunder Bay


Overcapacity has been an ongoing challenge for health care facilities across the province, including Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. To address overcapacity in the City of Thunder Bay, the North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) invested to support our Hospital to operate 64 beds in the Transitional Care Unit at Hogarth Riverview Manor. The Transitional Care Unit provides patients  access to the right care, at the right time, and by the right provider while reducing Surge Capacity pressures at our Hospital. We are grateful to St. Joseph’s Care Group and the North West LHIN for their partnership and support in addressing system pressures to the benefit of patients and families across Northwestern Ontario. This is how we become healthy together.

2 - Hospital Earns High Marks in Accreditation Report


Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been ranked among the best. Accreditation Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to engaging patients, policy-makers and the public to improve the safety and quality of health and social services, has awarded the Hospital an “A+”. Accreditation is an ongoing process of assessing health and social services organizations against standards of excellence to identify what is being done well and what needs to be improved. Among the many high performing areas of the Hospital, the surveyors took special note of the major achievements that have been made with the Strategic Plan 2020, our ongoing leadership in Patient and Family Centred Care, our outstanding telemedicine program, our transparency in communications with the community, our emergency response and mock code practice, and our high functioning Board of Directors.

3 - Award for Value-Based Healthcare Received


Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and University Health Network (UHN) were the 2018 recipients of the Recognition in Delivering Value-based Healthcare award. This recognition, awarded by the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL), aims to increase the profile and understanding of value-based healthcare by honoring an organization, or team, that is deliberate in changing the way that care is delivered, resulting in improved patient outcomes. This means that patients are being optimally cared for at the right time, in the right setting and at the right cost. The burden of cardiovascular disease in our region is extremely high. To significantly improve care for cardiovascular patients in our region, our Hospital and UHN developed the “One Program on Two Sites” model for the provision of Cardiac and Vascular Surgical services. This model will save lives and limbs, address the burden of cardiovascular disease, and improve access to services.

4 - Groundbreaking Pilot Project Launched to Improve Opioid Prescribing

Opioid digital order sets were launched at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in October. The groundbreaking pilot project aims to improve outcomes for patients who require post-operative pain management. The new opioid order set, developed by a working group including Hospital staff supports addressing the opioid crisis. The opioid digital order set provides standardized guidance for acute pain management for various post-op scenarios. Controlling and decreasing pain leads to better post-surgery outcomes, improved patient experiences, and reduced opioid prescribing rates.

5 - Hospital Employees Making a Difference


The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is internationally known for its patient- and family-centred care. But it should also be recognized for the incredible donations made by its employees back to the facility where they work. Last year, employees raised $98,977 (a 15% increase from the previous year) through donations from payroll deduction, along with a few special initiatives, including ‘Elfing an Employee’ at Christmas and candy sales around the Hospital. With our generous partner, Tbaytel, who matched donations up to $10,000, the final tally raised came to $108,977! Thanks to these donations, multiple pieces of vital healthcare equipment were purchased for areas around the Hospital.

6 - Women in Action Give Emergency Department Resuscitation a Shock


Women in Action is a united membership of dynamic and dedicated women with a shared philanthropic interest of improving healthcare in Thunder Bay and Nortwestern Ontario. Funds raised through membership currently support the enhancement of the Emergency Room at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Last Spring, members presented $20,000 to support the Resuscitation Room in the ED, which complemented the $30,000 they gave previously to support a renovation of the Trauma Room to provide a more patient-centred treatment space. It is thanks to dedicated groups like Women In Action that we are making healthcare better here at home.

7 - Hospital Joins Unified Approach to New Anti-Racism and Inclusion Coalition


Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was one of 11 major organizations to sign a Thunder Bay Anti-Racism & Inclusion Accord on June 19. The Accord signifies a commitment by each organization to establish goals, work together to address racism and discrimination in the community, and report on successes. Our Hospital is committed to Indigenous Health equity and reconciliation. We have made it a priority in both our Hospital`s and our Research Institute`s Strategic Plans, with Directions that focus on improving the health of Indigenous patients and families, as well as fostering a safer and more welcoming environment. This Anti-Racism Accord is in line with our value of Respect.

8 - New Clinic Supports Equitable Access to Care


A new central intake and assessment model at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is improving patient experiences and making wait times more equitable for musculoskeletal patients across Northwestern Ontario. Mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and in partnership with the North West Local Health Integration Network, the adoption of “Rapid Access Clinics” (RAC) combines the Regional Joint Assessment Centre (hip and knee) and Inter-Professional Spine Assessment and Education (lower back pain) clinics. The central intake, assessment and management model of the RAC have proven benefits to both patients and providers. This new clinic significantly improves access to care for our regional musculoskeletal patients as well as the overall patient experience, which is integral to our Hospital’s Patient and Family Centred Care philosophy.

9 - New Monument Celebrates Healthcare History


A piece of healthcare history is now proudly displayed on Hospital grounds thanks to the vision of Mrs. Shirley King. When the Port Arthur General Hospital was being demolished, Mrs. King asked to save three stone blocks from the building, which have now been formed into a monument that can be seen in the courtyard outside the Cafeteria. The monument was built to remember the PA General Hospital and is dedicated to those who worked tirelessly to preserve the health of our community and to those who continue in their footsteps. Visitors are encouraged to take a moment to pause and recall this important building and the care that took place within it. *Several short weeks after the monument’s unveiling, Mrs. King, sadly, passed away.

10 - Three Vascular Surgeons Providing Closer-To-Home Care


As of the summer of 2018, the Hospital has a full complement of three Vascular Surgeons – Dr. Mary MacDonald, Dr. Elrasheed Osman and Dr. Matthew Ingves. These surgeons allow the Hospital to provide 24/7 emergency vascular surgery services and will also increase surgical case capacity, reducing wait times. Additionally, the Hospital has offered EVAR (Endovascular Aneurysm Repair) as a treatment for planned elective aortic cases, for the past two years. Our Vascular Surgeons are working with University Health Network partners, clinicians and internal departments to assess our readiness to offer EVAR for emergent patients. Finally, the RAVE (Rapid Access Vascular Examination) Clinic has been staffed by all three surgeons; helping to see patients in a timely manner that have lower limb wounds such as foot ulcers and tissue loss that are not healing.  The ultimate goal of the clinic is to reduce our region’s overall amputation rate by making vascular care more timely and accessible.

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