Friday, August 28, 2015

Patient-centred care at Rouge Valley

On Aug. 25, 2015, Andrée Robichaud, president & CEO of RVHS, made her first speech to members of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT). Here is her informative speech on recent news and progress at RVHS, with particular focus on the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital campus.

Good afternoon and thank you for inviting me to meet you all today.

It is my pleasure to provide members of the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade with an update on your community hospital.

First, please allow me to introduce myself to you. I joined Rouge Valley Health System in mid-May of this year.

Until May, I was the president and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, since 2010 and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute since November 2014.

Prior to that, I was the president and CEO of one of the two Regional Health Authorities in New Brunswick, and previously held senior government positions within the Ministry of Health in that province.

It’s my pleasure to bring that experience to Rouge Valley, an excellent, innovative community hospital with two hospital campuses: one in Ajax; and the other in Scarborough.

Rouge Valley Health System is always growing to meet and anticipate the needs of patients and families in our growing communities.

Andrée Robichaud, third from right, with APBOT members
The hospital continues to develop for the future by expanding programs and adding new ones to best serve the needs of our population.

Please allow me to mention a few examples.

Our team of staff and cardiologists have expanded the Rouge Valley-led regional cardiovascular rehabilitation and secondary prevention service, in the Central East LHIN (Local Health Integration Network). This service is now available in Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Port Perry, Bowmanville, Cobourg, Lindsay, Trent Hills and Scarborough.

Our new Care After The Care in Hospital program, also at both hospital campuses, is helping to reduce readmission rates for patients once they are discharged. Nicknamed CATCH, the program helps our patients better manage their own conditions at home, and to be aware of the supports available to them right here in the community. Patient education from nurses and physiotherapists, combined with doctor follow-up by a general internist at the hospital, makes a difference to patients. In short, they have fewer complications and need to return to hospital less. It’s patient centred care.

Women receiving care at Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital campus are returning to active lives sooner thanks to laparoscopic hysterectomies. This less invasive procedure means twice-as-fast recoveries, lower infection rates and less scarring, compared to traditional hysterectomies. The majority of our obstetricians and gynecologists at the Ajax and Pickering hospital campus are now offering this specialized procedure, through the leadership of Dr. Eltayeb  and Dr. Rubabaza.

Since last year, Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering also offers a chronic disease education program for those living with arthritis, osteoporosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or who are at risk of developing one of these conditions. The Living Well program, as we call it, teaches these patients to create healthier lifestyles, educates family members on supporting them, allows patients to live more independently, and helps them prevent their condition from getting worse.

A new pre-habilitation program at Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering continues to improve outcomes for shoulder surgery patients. The program provides patients with physiotherapy to strengthen them before receiving their surgical procedures.

With the support of the RVHS Foundation, the surgical program has introduced modern, high-tech GreenLight lasers for much less invasive prostate surgeries at both hospital campuses. This has greatly increased the success of these procedures and minimized patient discomfort and recovery time.

We continue to work on:
  • Decreasing patient wait times;
  • Enhancing the quality of care and the patient-family experience overall; 
  • Increasing physical activity for our longer-term patients, which helps them recover more quickly;
  • Increasing our staff engagement, which in turn improves how we care for patients; and 
  • Work on our internal patient flow.
In addition, we continue to improve our current programs.

A Cancer Care Ontario report in December showed that women receive the fastest breast screening cancer care in the province in the Central East Regional Cancer Program, that Rouge Valley is proud to be an active part of at both hospital campuses. By calling the program, family doctors can bring women in for a screening almost immediately. Pathology reports from the tests are also quickly completed to minimize a patients’ anxiety and to begin any treatment that may be necessary.

Our emergency department annual patient volumes have grown from 49,500 five years ago to almost 62,000 as of March 31 of this year.

Our outpatient clinic services saw 57,000 patients in 2010, compared to almost 98,000 patients in the last year. Only five years ago we didn’t have an MRI machine. This last year, just over 8,000 patients got their MRI scan done at Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering’s state-of-the art MRI scanner.

All of these new and continuing excellent services wouldn’t be possible without the terrific team of doctors, staff and volunteers, whom I’m proud to lead and work with into the future.

I’ve seen that the last 12 months have provided Rouge Valley with an opportunity to step up even more for the community in times of crisis.

Our hospital staff and doctors went into action immediately following a fire at a Whitby long-term care home one morning in late October. Their staff safely evacuated the 192 residents of Fairview Lodge, with 27 of them safely accommodated the same day at both Rouge Valley campuses. Other residents were placed with several community organizations, who also came to their rescue.

All this information is to illustrate how we are keeping up to, and anticipating, the needs of our growing community.

Our new three-year Strategic Plan is aligned with those community needs.

During the last 12 months we have developed with the community, doctors, and hospital staff, a new, clear and exciting strategic plan. The plan features a new vision statement and new strategic directions.

Since October of 2014, the hospital, through the leadership of our past chair Joan Wideman and our Board of Directors, has been involved in extensive research, focus groups, surveys and interviews with more than 1,500 people, plus information sharing with more than 115,000 people on social media.

Those engaged in our Strategic Plan process included community members, political leaders, staff, doctors, volunteers, members of the Hospital and the Foundation Board of Directors.

All of this work culminated in our new plan, approved by our hospital Board of Directors in June and unveiled last month by our new Board Chair Fred Clifford. Fred, who lives in Courtice, is a long-serving Rouge Valley board member and senior partner at Ernst and Young LLP.

Our new vision statement represents Rouge Valley’s ongoing work as a leader in quality patient care for our communities.

Our new vision statement is:
Together – the best at what we do.

What this new vision means is that we will be the best at what we do:

  • Together — With patients, families, staff, professional staff, volunteers, committees and government;
  • Together — As a system working with other healthcare providers, local partners, and government to deliver services for patients and their families. 
To achieve that vision, the hospital has set out three strategic directions under the themes of:
  • Innovators of a Quality Patient Experience; 
  • Champions of a Connected System for Patients; and 
  • Workplace of Choice.
Some of the strategic goals are:
  • We plan to develop a palliative care program, which our patients and families told us they want. They told us this at nine of our end-of-life care community engagement focus groups earlier this year. 
  • The hospital must also become more senior friendly, ensuring that we have the proper supports in place when seniors are admitted for an acute episode.
  • Our team of staff and doctors is focusing on decreasing our wait times for patients. 
  • We are also working to increase services in our cancer care program. 
We are strengthening our reputation as the workplace of choice and we’ve recently announced the addition of four sought-after physician specialists to our team at our Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital campus:
  • Cardiologist Dr. Sarah Ipekian, who comes to us from a University of Toronto fellowship in echo-cardiology and cardiac imaging, and is a graduate of medical school and residency at the University of Western Ontario; 
  • Radiologist Dr. Maneesh Gupta, a University of Toronto graduate who recently completed a body imaging fellowship at Northwestern Memorial University in Chicago; 
  • Neurologist Dr. Elena Sokolova, a graduate of medical school in Russia who completed her residency at the University of Texas and the University of Calgary; and 
  • Anesthesiologist Dr. Alim Mansoorali Punja, who is a specialist in interventional chronic pain. He completed his medical training at the University of Calgary and the University of Ottawa, with a fellowship at the University of Toronto. 
These specialists chose Rouge Valley as their place to practice and I can see why.

Our goals are in their infancy and may evolve as we implement our Strategic Plan to best meet the needs of patients and families.

You will be seeing, hearing and reading more about the new Strategic Plan throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall as we engrain it into all that we do for patients and families at Rouge Valley.

Thank you to the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade. You are the voice of business in the community and we appreciate your support.

We look forward to working together with you as we build an even better hospital for the community.

Thank you.

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