Friday, October 31, 2008

Prevent the flu in you and in patients! / New Echo

By Rik Ganderton - President & CEO
I'm pleased once again to get my flu shot and encourage us all to do so.
To get his year's campaign going, you'll see that many managers and Board members have already rolled up their sleeves to encourage everyone at Rouge to get their shot. This is the best way to prevent us from getting sick with the flu and to prevent spreading it to our patients.
Thank you all for rolling up your sleeves starting next week at flu shot clinics for staff, physicians and volunteers at Rouge Valley. It's your personal decision, but please do consider getting it for your health and for that of our patients.
And my thanks to RN Amanda Fyfe for making it so painless!

President's Blog
By Rik Ganderton - President and CEO
Oct. 31, 2008

Even the Echo is transforming ...

Welcome to our new echo.

More than simply a smartly re-designed magazine, echo is now serving a wider audience — reverberating and spreading the good word about the new Rouge, which all of you are so busy transforming.
echo will continue to be a newsletter for staff-physicians-volunteers. But now it will also serve as a community magazine, mailed six times a year (electronically and by post) to health care partners, political leaders and more than 350 community organizations in east Toronto and west Durham.

Please have a good read through this issue and send any comments to Public Affairs and Community Relations Director David Brazeau at As with everything we do at Rouge, we want it to be the best – reflecting your tremendous ongoing work to constantly improve patient care!

In this issue, we continue to focus on the transformation that is well underway at both Rouge Valley hospital campuses. At our Oct. 1 Transformation Celebration Town Hall, we showcased the successes of our first four kaizen event teams. This was an opportunity for team leaders to showcase the positive changes their teams achieved for patients and for each other. We take an inside look at these kaizen events in our cover story, but I would like to highlight some of the biggest achievements here and offer my own “thank you” to all of our kaizen team members.

RVAP Emergency Department 5S
Clinical Practice Leader Tina Shoemaker showed us how the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering emergency department organized itself more efficiently for patient care, by making these key changes:
Cleaned and organized the working environment;
Conducted daily 5S audits (sort, set in order, scrub/shine, standardize and sustain); and
Ongoing monitoring of sustainability.
I want to underline this: sustainability is the key to all kaizen event successes! We must be vigilant in maintaining the truly terrific changes you have made.

RVAP Emergency Department Lab TAT
Senior Technologist Renee Liscio demonstrated how this team improved turn-around time (TAT) for blood and urine specimens. The key changes achieved for our patients were:
Visual management system for specimen pick up was established;
A back-up system was set up to inform our patient services reps that pickup was required; and
Standard work was established for all staff involved.

RVC Medicine Discharge Room TAT
Physiotherapist Louie Lu shared these key turn-around time changes achieved by his kaizen team:
Discharge TAT visual management board established;
Standard work created for staff members to improve patient flow; and
Linen carts have been reorganized using the 5S principles.

RVC Medicine Discharge Process
Outpatient and Corporate Rehab Manager Karl Wong showed us how his team improved flow, coordination of discharge process on the RVC Medicine 9W unit, through these key changes:
Discharge planning visual management board was put in place;
Physician communication tool was created for patient charts; and
Signs were made to educate patients and families about discharge days and times.

Thank you to all team members and to our kaizen process owners: Program Director of Mental Health and Emergency Cheryl Williams; and Program Director of Medicine and Critical Care Margot DaCosta. I would also like to thank all staff, physicians and volunteers for working as a team, at every level of Rouge Valley, to provide the best health care experience for our patients and their families.

And to all our other readers, I hope you enjoy this first issue of the new echo and will continue to come back to these pages to learn more about how Rouge Valley is working to be the best at what we do.

Please feel free to email any questions or comments you have for me to

For more from the president:
internal—check out the President’s Page on the RVHS intranet site
external—visit the RVHS Blog at

Rouge continues to move forward: wins second court challenge

By Rik Ganderton - President and CEO

Rouge Valley has won its second legal challenge to its Deficit Elimination Plan (DEP).

The Divisional Court has recently ruled in favour of the hospital in a challenge brought forward by the provincial head office of the Ontario Nurses Association. The court ruled that the decision to approve the DEP by the Rouge Valley Board of Directors was an “internal” and "reasonable” decision.

The court accepted the hospital’s arguments that it had consulted about its plan to reduce the deficit. This summer the court also ruled in favour of the Central East LHIN and Rouge Valley in a similar challenge brought forward by OPSEU - Read our August 2008 news release.

This means we can continue to move forward in our well-publicized plan, of March 25, 2008, to fix Rouge Valley's historic financial challenges.

As we've said at leadership forums with managers and Town Halls with all staff, it is thanks to the engagement and participation of staff and physicians that Rouge Valley is now heading in a positive direction on finances and, most importantly, in transforming itself into being the best at what we do for patients.

The complete ruling is available here.