LHSC implemented a standardized approach to quality improvement with medical leaders, operational leaders and staff across the organization working towards common quality indicators that are measured across all hospital departments. Measuring common safety indicators sets a baseline of performance and enables everyone to find solutions in areas that require improvement. Enhanced operational communications and engagement, and strengthened operational management planning and quarterly performance monitoring processes further enable LHSC to improve on the delivery of high-quality care.
LHSC remains committed to continuing to improve the patient experience. In partnership with patient and family advisors, a Patient and Family Framework, including a Patient Declaration of Values, has been created. LHSC has also begun the recruitment of a large and diverse group of patient and family advisors to supplement the more than 150 current advisors who volunteer their time and perspectives to help inform decision-making across the hospital, including care delivery and strategic planning.
Experiencing heightened patient access challenges similar to hospitals across the province, LHSC continues to implement improvement strategies for patient access and flow. Included in these strategies are a Code Gridlock policy and a Hallway Transfer Protocol created to standardize and empower caregivers to deliver safe and high-quality care during peak times and in challenging circumstances. These protocols provide patients safe and timely access to care as LHSC works to further implement in-hospital and regional strategies to alleviate patient access issues.
LHSC is participating in Choosing Wisely Canada, a national campaign to help clinicians and patients engage in conversations about unnecessary tests and treatments, and make evidence-based and effective care choices. LHSC is implementing recommendations for over 15 clinical specialties, including customizing care to the patient based on communication with the patient and family. One example includes radiology where ultrasound will be used in place of computed tomography (CT) for the evaluation of suspected appendicitis in children. Ultrasound reduces radiation exposure, is cost-effective and has excellent accuracy. If the results of the ultrasound are unclear, it may be followed by CT.
LHSC is partnering with the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Home & Community Care, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and the Thames Valley Family Health Team to provide Connecting Care to Home (CC2H), an integrated, multi-disciplinary team approach across care settings, including hospital, community and primary care, developed to support patients with chronic diseases to improve safety, quality and enhance the patient and family experience. The program began for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and has expanded for patients experiencing congestive heart failure with further plans to expand into other chronic diseases. Outcomes of the program include decreasing hospital length of stay and Emergency Department visits, decreased readmission rates, and much higher patient satisfaction with their care and ability to manage their disease.
LHSC is also actively partnering with the South West LHIN’s Medical Imaging Integrated Care project to establish a better flow for patients requiring a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) in the region. The protocol set will ensure MRI scanning standardization to allow patients to receive a consistent scan wherever they are in the region.
The two-year Transitional Plan has well positioned LHSC to finalize a new strategic plan and vision, which was informed by over 1,000 stakeholders, including patient and family advisors. The new strategic plan will reinforce the direction we are taking as the region’s major academic health organization in continuously improving quality, performance, and safety, as well as our commitment to patients and families, staff, physicians, and our community, and will emphasize collaborative work with system partners to build new, high-quality and sustainable regional care models to better serve patients.