Patient Experience

Our goal at St. Joe’s is to make each patients’ experience as positive as possible.

With that in mind, we have been working closely with our 10 Patient and Family Advisors over the last year to gain feedback on how we deliver care. The advisors have shared important suggestions about how we can improve our patients’ experience during surgery; they are also actively involved in our Hand Hygiene Committee and helping us find ways to continually improve hand hygiene across all areas of our organization. Having these community members in the organization and working side-by-side our teams is one of the primary strategies for promoting patient and family engagement.

For our growing elderly patient population, we have been developing a new initiative called the First Three Days that aims to get our frail seniors assessed and up and moving with the right supports within the first 12 hours of being admitted – so we can get them healthy and home sooner. The initiative has been spearheaded by Dr. David Tal and occupational therapist Neelam Bal. Senior care is an important area of focus for St. Joe’s, since 34 percent of residents living in the surrounding neighbourhoods are over the age of 65.

For the last three years we have been developing our Homeward Bound program, giving our renal patients with kidney failure the flexibility and independence of having their haemodialysis treatment at home. The lengthy, life-saving treatments are typically done at our Islington Avenue site, but trained patients can do them at home on days and times that fit their schedule. It’s an exciting way that we’re improving patients’ experience by helping them get a crucial treatment outside of a healthcare setting.

Providing a positive patient experience also means being forward-thinking and innovative in the care and services we provide our patients. With this in mind, we launched a registration kiosk pilot project last fall throughout our Ambulatory Care Centre. It’s a high-tech way to help people register more efficiently for our clinics – and even gives them the opportunity to pre-register for their visit, similar to checking in early for a flight. Feedback has been positive so far, and we are looking forward to expanding the use of this tool in the future.

Giving our patients the best experience and the best care continues after they leave the walls of our hospital. We’re proud of a homegrown initiative to provide warm winter clothing for vulnerable mental health patients. Around 15% of our mental health patients brave sub-zero wind chills this past winter without the simple necessities that we often take for granted. Our annual clothing drive, spearheaded by Patient Care Manager Shirley Pullan, strives to ensure these patients leave St. Joe’s with warm winter clothing to protect them from the elements.

How Homeward Bound improves the patient experience

Patient Experience

Hemodialysis machines look complicated, but Flynn Ramirez has no trouble hooking one up. He’s not a nurse or a doctor, however – he’s a patient, dialyzing in the comfort of his bedroom, thanks to a program dubbed “Homeward Bound” at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

His comfortable routine is a far cry from the overwhelming diagnosis Ramirez first received from his doctor: high blood pressure that had affected his kidneys, leaving both at a 13% functioning level.

“When renal failure occurs, it means (the kidneys) aren’t performing properly – and so you end up with waste products building up in your blood,” explains Jacqui Cooper, patient care manager for the Renal Therapy program at St. Joe’s.

In life-saving but time-consuming hemodialysis, the patient’s blood is pumped through a machine, where it passes through a membrane and is then returned, in a clean state, back into their body.

“Being on a home therapy allows (patients) to go back to work and normalizes their life again,” says Cooper.

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Did you know?
300+ patient experience e-mail surveys completed by our patients
850+ people signed up for St. Joe’s Web Panel to continue this conversation