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CPSI Share                                                
11/2/2016 7:00 AM

Congratulations to Michael Garron Hospital, the 2016 recipient of the Team/Organizational Champion Award for their outstanding work in engaging patients and families as partners in continuous improvement.

At Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital (formerly the Toronto East General Hospital), Patient Experience Partners ensure that the voices of patients and families are heard, considered and included in program improvement, education and the design of the care environment. As early as 1996, patient representatives were appointed to the Research Ethics Board and since then patient involvement has become the cultural norm of the hospital.

"At Michael Garron Hospital, we value a just and transparent culture that includes the patient voice and supports continuous quality improvement," says Mari Iromoto, Head of Organizational Quality, Risk, Privacy, Process Excellence & Innovation teams. "It is just the way of being and doing here."

A Patient Video program was created to give patients a voice in providing a first-hand account of their hospital experience and sharing opportunities for change. Since 2011, 150 patient videos have been recorded and shared. The successful video program has helped to improve patient satisfaction scores (now over 95 per cent) and led to procedural improvements such as: enhancing psychological/social work support in Oncology; addressing alarm fatigue in the Cardiac Integrated Unit (reducing provider response time by 56 percent); a Falls Prevention (Mobility Strategy) program (that led to a 10 per cent reduction in falls with harm hospital-wide and a 50 per cent reduction in the Memory Care Unit). The hospital's Patient Video Toolkit has been shared with more than 30 organizations across Canada and the United States interested in transforming the way care is delivered through reflection and the direct voice of patients. In 2015, the program was the recipient of the Change Foundation's 20 Faces of Change Award and a Best Practice Listing from the Association for Patient Experience. This year, the program received the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Practice of the Year Award.

Patients have provided input into processes in place to manage critical incidents in order to help develop new processes and prevent similar incidents from reoccurring. When an incident does occur, the hospital's policy is to disclose all information to their patients. "We put the patient first and we always ask, what is the right thing to do?, says Mari Iromoto. It is a simple question and we are guided by that."

Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is one of the first hospitals in Canada to design a staff training program to build capacity and ensure a welcoming environment for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer or Questioning) patients and staff alike. The mandate is to have 1,000 staff complete LGBTQ training in the next year. Partnering with a local organization heavily involved with the LGBTQ community has helped to ensure that the appropriate language is used and sensitivities are addressed. The hospital is committed to sharing its LGBTQ policies and procedures to improve and standardize care across the continuum of care.

Michael Garron Hospital received Accreditation Canada's exemplary status for 2016 in recognition of a top percentile score of 99.64 per cent. In addition, MGH has been awarded with 15 Accreditation Canada leading practices, including: creating a mobile app to support thoracic surgery patients and improve their experience and surgical outcomes; establishing the Diabetes Group Walking Clinic where patients walk with their doctors and nurse educators at a 'walk-while-we-talk' outpatient appointment; and implementing post-discharge phone calls where a nurse calls a patient 24 to 48 hours after discharge to improve safety in the transition from hospital to home.

Other examples of engaging with patients and families to improve safety include: conducting a bedside shift exchange with the full involvement of patients and families; and developing education tools for registration clerks, frontline providers, patients and their substitute decision-makers (SDM) to advance understanding of capacity assessments and identifying the correct SDM to improve safety and quality ethical care. Patient Experience Partners have many opportunities to participate and improve quality at MGH. For example, they have partnered in the redesign of the Emergency Room to enhance patient flow and experience; co-created the IDEAL discharge planning process to maximize patient experience and outcomes from admission to discharge; and are involved in co-designing educational materials and patient information. They are also invited to share their stories, which are shared by staff at daily unit huddles, and provide feedback through post-discharge phone calls, satisfaction surveys and the patient relations process.

Patient Experience Partners are members of the hospital-wide Patient Experience Panel (PEP), as well as unit-based PEPs in mental health and dialysis; have a seat on the Senior Friendly Steering Committee, the Board Quality Committee, and the Medical Quality & Patient Safety Committee. Representatives also sit on the Community Advisory and Family Councils in Complex Continuing Care; Emergency and Maternal, Newborn & Child Care; and on hiring panels for managers, allied health staff and specialists.

Francisco Grajales, the Canadian Envoy of Radboud University Medical Centre and a member of the MGH Innovation Committee nominated Michael Garron Hospital for the Patient Safety Champion Award. "MGH's commitment to excellence in partnering with patients, families and the community has created a solid foundation for a culture of improvement and innovation across every ward," says Francisco Grajales. "Being grounded in the patient voice with patients as stakeholders is a mantra that all hospitals should learn from, particularly in the patient safety domain."

HealthCareCAN and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute have partnered to present the Patient Safety Champion Awards to recognize champions of patient safety - volunteer patient or family members and teams or organizations who demonstrate exemplary leadership and collaboration to champion change and achieve safer care through patient/family engagement. The Team/Organizational Champion Award recognizes a team or organization who, through exemplary patient centred care and patient engagement practices, contributed to a project or initiative that resulted in identifiable positive impact on patient safety outcomes.