A message from Nancy Whitmore, President and CEO

Our vision to deliver an excellent patient care experience every time is the very foundation of all that we do here at STEGH and this vision is only attainable because of each and every staff member, physician, volunteer and community partner. I believe everyone at STEGH contributes equally to achieving our vision. Our patients and families agree! On our 2016-2017 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), we set a target that 94% of our patients would rate the overall care they received during their hospital stay as excellent or very good. I am very proud to report that we achieved this target. This is a true testament to the compassionate, patient-centered, high-quality care provided by our teams at STEGH. Most hospitals track Good, Very Good and Excellent in their metrics. If we chose to do this, we would have achieved a score of 98% last year, which is truly remarkable, and would place us within the top 10 hospitals in Ontario for patient experience.

As a hospital, Quality and Safety of care are our key priorities and each year we build and commit to a demanding QIP. This past year we met or exceeded nearly all of our QIP targets. I would like to highlight our work on best possible medication histories (BPMH) within 24 hours of admission where we exceeded our target of 88% and reached 93% and discharge summaries completed within 48 hours where we exceeded our target of 87% and reached 92%. This discharge summary metric was recognized by Health Quality Ontario as a key driver for safe, integrated care and is now a required metric for all Ontario hospitals. I’m very proud that this important metric that is now part of every QIP in the province of Ontario had its origins right here at our hospital.

STEGH’s commitment to continuous improvement is guided by our Lean philosophy and framework. STEGH began its Lean journey in 2011 with the goal to continuously improve quality and safety. This past year, our staff have participated in 32 different kaizen events to advance our continuous improvement efforts. Throughout our Lean journey, we have spent considerable time and effort coaching and developing staff to become skilled problem solvers and this work will continue. Throughout the past year, and moving forward, we will continue to engage our staff in kaizen events and other continuous improvement opportunities.

We continue to focus on being good financial stewards of the healthcare funding we receive. One of the strategies we used last year to provide safe, quality care in the most financially efficient manner was the implementation of evidence based care pathways. Care pathways aim to minimize variation in treatment plans and ensure that care is efficiently sequenced. These standardized care plans improve outcomes and helps minimize waste within the system. We set a target to fully implement five of these pathways and again exceeded the target and implemented seven.

Historically, we have focused on the triple aim in healthcare – quality care, patient experience, and being good financial stewards. As an organization committed to best practice, evidence would now tell us that if we want to continue to improve the care we provide and the patients’ experience of that care, it is equally and vitally important to focus on the provider experience. This past year, STEGH introduced a wellness initiative and we will continue to expand wellness opportunities over the coming months.

For anyone driving by STEGH this past year, you have watched our new building being built, concrete pillar by concrete pillar and brick by brick. Our Redevelopment Project is progressing on time and on budget. It has been fascinating to watch the construction over the past year and see the speed at which it has gone from a shovel in the ground to its current state. We are on target for substantial completion in November and to move patients into the new facility in January 2018. It truly is an exciting time for our great hospital and we look forward to providing patient-centred, high quality, safe and efficient care to the people of St. Thomas and Elgin County in our new building.

Nancy Whitmore

Construction on the Great Expansion of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.

Construction began in November 2015 and is on schedule to be completed by November 2017. Patients will move into the new building in January 2018, which will have a new Emergency Department, Surgical Suites, Medical Devices Reprocessing Department, and Mental Health Unit.