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Message from Bonnie Adamson

President and Chief Executive Officer

London Health Sciences Centre

2013 Annual Community Meeting
Wednesday, June 19


Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for joining us here today.

I would like to start by thanking Ruthe Anne Conyngham and our Board of Directors for their commitment and enthusiasm, and for being so generous with their time, talent and expertise. I would also like to thank Dr. Mark MacLeod, whose leadership of the Medical Advisory Committee has been outstanding. And of course I must thank all of our partners who have delivered updates today. Susan, Jim and David – through your leadership of Children’s Health Foundation, London Health Sciences Foundation, and Lawson Health Research Institute, you are helping us advance health care in London and the region. It’s been a pleasure working with you all this past year.

Of course, it goes without saying that I am continually impressed by ALL of our extraordinary people — our staff, physicians, students, volunteers and researchers. No matter the role, we are all united in providing the very best care for our patients.

I am very pleased to report that we have seen tremendous success in our efforts to improve infection safety and patient access, which were our top priorities again last year.

We recently became the first in North America to implement a new Patient Flow Management Solution, a real-time electronic bed board and patient tracking system that is expected to significantly improve patient flow. As a “beta-site,” there are certainly some growing pains associated with being the first to implement the system though I am confident that this initiative, along with a number of additional strategies, will make a real difference in addressing our patient access challenges.

Equally important to quality patient care is ensuring infection safety. Hand washing is a key factor in infection control and, as Mark described earlier, efforts to improve and sustain our hand hygiene rates are working.

Today, I am pleased to report we have achieved – and in some cases exceeded – our goals. This success means we are beginning to see positive downward trends in hospital-acquired infections, including MRSA and C. difficile rates.

Another highlight last year was the launch of HUGO, which stands for Healthcare Undergoing Optimization, which builds on the foundational components of the electronic patient record.

LHSC and nine other hospitals in London and the region are participating in this important patient safety and quality of care initiative. Over the next two years, we will be shifting from paper to electronic technology for ordering tests, prescribing medication, and adding barcoding to make sure the right patient is receiving the right medication at the right time. This is Ontario’s first regional project of its kind and is great news for patient care!

Somewhat related to HUGO is the cSWO initiative -- which LHSC is leading. This is a transformative e-health initiative that will connect 3,000 health service providers across four LHINs. Both HUGO and cSWO are major projects that represent great strides forward in patient safety, quality and access.

Earlier this year, LHSC was honoured when our CSTAR program was designated as Canada’s national training centre for robotic surgery. Surgeons from across the nation will now travel to LHSC to receive training on the latest in robotic surgical systems and procedures. This is another great example of how LHSC continues to have an important impact on improving quality and patient safety here in London and the region, and indeed across the country.

Advancing health care to the next level means we need to create an environment where innovations can thrive. We have seen many examples of innovation through our Continuous Quality Improvement – or CQI – councils. These councils are made up of the multidisciplinary teams who care for our patients, and each person at the table brings a unique perspective on how we can improve care. These councils are reinforcing my strong belief that the solutions lie in the hearts and minds of the extraordinary people in this organization.

And of course, we continue to add to our growing list of medical breakthroughs. In the past year alone, we celebrated five more medical firsts!

These include a Canadian surgical first using a two-stage method to remove cancer from the liver, and a world-first procedure that uses thermal ultrasound energy to treat prostate cancer. Since 1949, patients at LHSC have been part of over 70 medical firsts in Canada, North America, or the world.

This increasing pace of innovation and discovery – happening right here at London Health Sciences Centre – is truly making a difference to patient outcomes throughout the world. I’m extremely proud of these accomplishments and all we do for patients and I’m excited to share them with you and our community.

One of the ways we are doing that is through our ‘inside’ publication. Today you are getting a sneak-peek at our latest edition. You’ll find your copy in the package of materials you received on your way in. The rest of the region will receive their copy in this Saturday’s London Free Press, and I hope you enjoy reading the amazing patient care stories about lives that have been transformed.

Within that package, you’ll also find our audited financial statements. I’m pleased to report that LHSC is continuing our commitment to be excellent stewards of the funding we receive, finishing the fiscal 2012/2013 year in solid financial health.

At this time of system transformation, this is particularly important as it enables us to continue to invest in key quality and safety initiatives and to maintain our state-of-the-art facilities while continuing our efforts to improve patient experiences.

I am also pleased to tell you about some extraordinary people who are making a difference at LHSC and beyond.

Two weeks ago we held our annual President’s Awards ceremony to honour this year’s nominees and recipients. I presented the following people with the 2013 President’s Awards:

  • Janet Robinson for Community Service
  • Dan Logie for Living Our Core Values – How We Work Together
  • Dr. Richard Owen for Living Our Core Values – How We Serve Our Patients
  • Sandy Jansen for Leadership; and
  • Dr. Simon Levin for Physician Leadership.

Sandy, Dan and Dr. Levin are here this afternoon and I’d like to ask them to stand so that we can recognize them today for making such a positive difference to our patients and community.

I would also like to take a brief moment to recognize someone who is quickly approaching his retirement later this month. Dave Crockett is our integrated vice president of Facilities Management for LHSC and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Many of us from both organizations had the pleasure of honouring Dave at a retirement celebration last week, and I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the LHSC community to thank him for his nearly 30 years of commitment to our hospital.

Dave’s achievements have literally transformed our organization. Under his leadership we finally saw the closure of South Street Hospital, the building of more than 600,000 new square feet in our beautiful North Tower where we stand today, as well as the renovation of almost every other floor at Vic and University Hospitals.

He has also instilled in all of us a respect for the environment and encouraged us to be better environmental stewards by implementing many award-winning programs and initiatives to lower our hospitals ecological footprint. Thank you Dave, for your passion, your dedication, and your countless contributions. We wish you health and happiness and years of enjoyment in your retirement.

There were too many accomplishments, celebrations and milestones this past year to acknowledge here today, but I do want to highlight two that stand out for me personally.

First, I’d like to mention the opening of the new Kidney Care Centre at Westmount Shopping Centre last fall. This event was attended by hundreds and was a true community celebration. Locating the Kidney Care Centre in our community is about getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
We want our dialysis patients to receive care in cutting-edge facilities and closer to home — because shorter travel time equals better quality of life and better outcomes for our patients and their families.

Another very notable outcome of the year, for me, was the enhanced level of community engagement at LHSC. In fact, community collaboration continues to play a more prominent role across LHSC as we begin our journey to be a stronger corporate citizen and to engage patients and families as partners in improving the way we provide care.

An important component of this was the re-launch of our Community Advisory Council, which is made up of patients, family members, and other community leaders — as well as key members of the LHSC team — who all come together with the goal of improving the patient experience.

Our objective is to very openly and candidly share our opportunities and challenges, and to engage the group at the front end of decision-making as we explore new approaches across the hospital.
We truly believe that this council, together with our patient and family advisory committees in pediatrics and cancer, will be key drivers of patient-centred change at LHSC.

Recently, some of the council members attended a day-long patient experience kick-off session for more than 300 staff and physicians, as part of the journey we are collectively embarking upon to improve patient outcomes. Rather than me telling you about it, I am pleased to welcome Diane Smith, one of our Community Advisory Council members, to provide a brief update on our collaboration and approach.
Diane to come to podium and deliver remarks.

Thank you, Diane – and indeed all of our advisory council volunteers – for your dedication to helping us improve patient experiences.

With so many other amazing things happening at LHSC, we have prepared this short presentation to share some of the highlights of the year:

Show Year in Review (set to music)

As you can see, there have been many reasons to celebrate over the past year, but we do need to recognize that we have also experienced challenges along the way. One in particular that I am sure you have heard about was the recent chemotherapy dilution issue that affected patients in four hospitals in the province, including 691 here at LHSC. This was a very difficult time for patients and their families, and our overriding objective throughout was to focus on connecting them with the information and supports they needed, as quickly as possible. Implementing this response required dedication and effort above and beyond and I remain deeply impressed with the physicians, leaders and staff whose commitment to our patients throughout this issue exemplified exactly what we aspire to be as an organization.

I would also like to point out how instrumental our community members from the London Regional Cancer Program’s patient and family advisory council were in helping to shape how we responded during the height of this issue – and on an ongoing basis – as we strive to rebuild trust in the system for those we serve. I want to thank Mim O’Dowda and Elisa Wilson from the LRCP’s patient and family advisory council, and everyone else involved, in helping us to serve the patients impacted to the very best of our ability.

Other health system challenges, including Ontario's aging population and the province’s fiscal deficit, mean that changes are needed in health care delivery to ensure sustainability for generations to come. Over the past year we have seen several priorities introduced by the Ministry of Health. At the centre of these programs is the need to change the way we think about and deliver health care, both in the community and in hospitals, and most importantly by building better and stronger connections between the two.

LHSC supports the need for health system transformation to build a stronger and sustainable model for health care in Ontario.

As health-care leaders with a legacy of innovation, LHSC wants to help define the future and everyone at LHSC has a role to play. First, we will consider everything we do within a robust quality framework that we are calling “i-STEP up”. The acronym “i-STEP Up” refers to the five dimensions of quality that are outlined in the Excellent Care for All Act. Specifically:

  • Integrated
  • Safe
  • Timely
  • Effective
  • Patient Centred

Under these five quality dimensions, LHSC has determined key areas for improvement across the organization. We will:

  1. Reduce unnecessary hospital readmission
  2. Reduce hospital acquired infection rates
  3. Reduce wait times in the Emergency Department
  4. Reduce unnecessary deaths in hospitals
  5. Improve patient satisfaction

We will also be supporting health care transformation by renewing our clinical services. This initiative represents LHSC's proactive approach to working with all system stakeholders — including patients — to drive change across the continuum of care. The plan will deliver on priorities established by the province and the LHINs and will also define a strong and sustainable model for our hospital within that new system of care.

Critical to our success will be the ability to work in true partnership with other health care providers in the community and region — and most importantly, with patients. I believe it is the only way forward. I am proud of what we are, and even more excited by what we will become by working together.
I would like to leave you today with the following video that we are proud to unveil to our community at this meeting. This new video highlights just who we are at LHSC – a caring and innovative community that is ready to embrace the future.

Thank you.