Quality & Innovation

Last year at St. Joe’s, we had over 22,000 admissions, 3,200 births, and 97,000 visits to our Emergency Department. With so many patients coming through our doors every year, quality patient care and constant innovation is at the heart of everything we do. The past fiscal year was no exception.

Our eCare initiative has been changing the way our teams provide patient care. New mobile devices and our state-of-the-art Electronic Patient Record system recently introduced computerized physician order entry and electronic clinical documentation at the point of care for our inpatient units such as Medicine and Surgery.

This exciting system is enhancing and innovating our quality of patient care, giving our healthcare teams access to online orders and patient information from anywhere 24/7, and reducing the potential for handwritten order transcription errors. This means faster and safer health care decisions. As the government of Ontario forges ahead with its goal of providing an electronic health record for every Ontarian by 2015, eCare strategically aligns St. Joe’s with the government’s health-care priorities.

On the clinical front, we made significant strides in patient safety over the past year. Infections caused by C. difficile bacteria are a common healthcare concern – but we have reduced our infection rates since the last fiscal year of 2012-2013 by 34%.

We also helped more of our complex patients get the care they need beyond the hospital by getting them a bed in the community, leading to an almost 20% reduction in what we call “Alternate Level of Care” days. This was made possible due to the launch of an interprofessional Discharge Operations Team, which has facilitated the collaborative efforts between our inpatient teams and our external partners such as our local Community Care Access Centre. Our highly successful patient navigator role has simplified the discharge planning process for our patients with chronic diseases so that they have timely follow up at home with community supports and with their primary care provider. We also improved the access, quality and value of the care we provide. As a result, St. Joe’s now ranks as the top Emergency Department Pay-for-Results performer in our Local Health Integration Network.

In total, we had nearly 27,000 surgical and interventional procedures over the past year. A new funding formula by the province means that certain procedures are funded by volume, and we’ve exceeded the volume targets in various areas – including cataract surgeries and hip & knee replacements – otherwise known as “quality based procedures.”

Amid these exciting developments, we are proud to have many staff members who are thinking outside the box in terms of how we provide care to our patients.

In January 2014, we celebrated the innovations of our frontline physicians and staff at the first-ever InnovationEx event. We proudly shared several exciting initiatives that are already making a difference in patient care, including a homegrown push to increase recycling in our operating rooms lead by Dr. Ali Abbass, a new Father’s Mental Health Network spearheaded by Dr. Andrew Howlett, an innovative way to conduct shoulder surgery by Dr. Amr Elmaraghy and a new way to take care of senior patients by Dr. David Tal and Occupational Therapist Neelam Bal.

These innovations, of course, are rooted in the quality care we provided – and both innovation and quality play crucial roles in helping us become a Health Centre for the future.

Improving Patient Care Through Surgical Innovation

Quality & Innovation

The thought of being on an operating table is the exact reason why Toronto resident George Danylkiw avoided surgery on his shoulder for so long – even though it was filled with pain.

“Over the last year or so, the pain became so bad, I couldn’t sleep at night, sitting down was painful and moving my arm above my head was impossible,” he recalls.

But thanks to an innovative approach to the positioning which facilitates arthroscopic shoulder surgery, developed by Dr. Amr Elmaraghy, an upper extremity Orthopaedic surgeon at St. Joe’s, Danylkiw knew he could overcome his apprehension to surgery for the benefit of his health.

Dr. Elmaraghy’s approach to creating space makes it easier to use the necessary hand and power tools to repair damage in the shoulder, while ensuring that no additional damage is done to the surrounding cartilage and tissue.

Two months after surgery George says he feels “like a million bucks”. The only proof of his surgery are the five tiny marks left from the incisions made by Dr. Elmaraghy to repair his rotator cuff. His shoulder pain is completely gone.

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Did you know?
0 – The number of C. difficile outbreaks at St. Joe’s over the last fiscal year
34% – The drop in C. difficile bacteria infection rate since 2012-2013 fiscal year
18% – The drop in Emergency Department wait times since 2012-2013 fiscal year