Message from Ramona Robinson
Chair, Board of Directors
Looking back on my first year as Board Chair, I am pleased to reflect on the progress made to position London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) as a leader in the journey to help shape the future of health in London and in our region. The Board of Directors recognizes the increased need for collaboration at all levels of health care to enact the necessary shift to a more cohesive and streamlined model of care.
As the region’s major academic health organization, LHSC can play a key role in helping to advance positive system change that improves access to services, quality of care, and patient and provider experiences. Achieving this goal requires strong and visionary leadership, which is why we were excited to welcome Dr. Paul Woods as LHSC’s new President and CEO in January 2018. It is clear that Dr. Woods’ vision emphasizes the importance of LHSC working collaboratively as a system partner to ensure the growing population health needs across our region can be met with safe, efficient, and high-quality care. Supported by the Board, this vision will be reinforced by a renewed strategic plan which will guide LHSC’s work in the coming years.
As always, patients will remain at the heart of our purpose, and the Board recognizes the importance of having the patient voice represented in our decision-making. Accordingly, we have taken a more active role in engaging LHSC’s Patient and Family Advisors for advice and guidance at the Board level. Additionally, the Board has strengthened its collaborative approach to our governance work and has been engaged more closely over the past year with key external stakeholders within the region and the province to encourage and support system-wide change.
Ensuring safe, effective, and high-quality care for all patients at LHSC remains a top priority for the Board and has been a key area of focus as the organization prepares for the upcoming accreditation review process, which is an independent third party assessment of our organization against standards of excellence. For this reason we strongly support LHSC’s ongoing work to be an organization that is “accreditation ready every day” and have participated in accreditation readiness activities throughout the past year.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Dr. Woods and all staff, physicians, students, researchers and volunteers for their contributions in providing safe and compassionate care. I would also like to extend my appreciation to all members of the Board who contribute their skills, values, voices and time in this voluntary role. The Board provides an important representation of our community and collectively, we are confident in and excited about the future direction of LHSC.
Message from Dr. Paul Woods
President and CEO
Since joining London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) as President and CEO in January, I have been privileged to witness the commitment to excellence and evident passion of all LHSC staff, physicians, researchers, students, and volunteers in supporting and delivering high-quality and compassionate patient care. I am confident that these qualities, along with a renewed mission, vision, values, and strategic plan, will enable LHSC to build on its long legacy of excellence while improving the experiences of patients and providers alike.
Health care today is at a crossroads; it needs to become more focused on patients and families while consistently delivering at the highest standard of quality and safety possible. At the same time, we can expect funding constraints to continue, so we need to develop a more efficient and sustainable model of care that ensures we can deliver services that will meet growing health-care demands and significantly improve access at all points of need.
I believe there is only one way forward, and that is to look at our region as a health ecosystem. By examining how we collectively operate within a network of hospitals, community health providers, social service agencies, and public health organizations, we can identify new ways to provide more seamless care and supports all along the patient’s journey, rather than function as a series of care episodes provided in isolation as we tend to today. Ultimately, our collective aim should be keeping people healthy and better supported before and after they need hospitalization, which will lead to better patient outcomes and experiences at a lower system-level cost.
LHSC is dedicated to helping achieve this vision through our strategic plan, which will focus on supporting and empowering our people and aligning our resources to optimize our care, teaching and research mission. As we ready for Accreditation later this year, we are building a culture that positions us to consistently and sustainably deliver at the highest levels of quality and safety possible—every day—and we are actively strengthening the patient voice in our planning as part of that work. Emphasis will also be placed on extending that capacity to directly support regional collaboration, leading to new and more effective care pathways within a stronger system of health.
Despite the ongoing challenges of the fiscally constrained health-care environment, LHSC was able to maintain a positive financial position for 2017/18, as you will see in the audited financial statements. This was achieved by LHSC’s ongoing work to find more effective and efficient ways to deliver care and I believe that, together with system partners, we can continue developing solutions to ensure sustainable, high-quality outcomes for the patients we collectively serve.
Message from Dr. Andrea Lum
Chair, Medical Advisory Committee
I am pleased to provide an update on the work being done by the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC). The MAC is the primary liaison between medical practitioners and the Board of Directors at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) as required by the Public Hospitals Act. We credential the professional staff (physicians, dentists, midwives and fellows) with privileges at the hospital and provide oversight of the medical quality of care and patient safety provided at the hospital.
Physicians are key members of the health-care team when it comes to influencing quality improvement in hospitals. Accordingly, the MAC has focused on providing increased rigour and structure to the way LHSC measures physician performance as it relates to patient safety and quality. While LHSC has tracked its quality data against a set target in a performance monitoring tool (known as a balanced scorecard) for some time, there was an opportunity to integrate more meaningful metrics for physicians into organizational performance tracking. Over the past year, the MAC selected five quality indicators for which physicians own a large accountability and these are now being tracked across all departments, enabling more meaningful engagement of physicians in quality and safety performance tracking. This data reflects the ways in which physicians directly contribute to quality at the hospitals, and by highlighting these medical indicators, physicians can more easily identify the areas in which they need to improve. LHSC is among the first hospitals in Ontario to measure this type of physician performance data and through this important work, we are making what was once invisible, more visible, to improve patient safety and quality of care.
It is important to acknowledge the work of the MAC in helping to ensure LHSC is prepared for Accreditation, a voluntary process undertaken by health-care organizations with the goal of improving patient outcomes and health system performance. Recognizing that physicians play an essential role in ensuring high-quality patient care, the MAC continues our dedication to this process as part of LHSC’s ongoing focus on delivering care at the highest standard possible.
With a focus this past year on data and quality indicators, I want to acknowledge that at the heart of their work, physicians care for people first. Our physicians deliver quality care through skill and knowledge with compassion and dedication, and in turn we must ensure we care for ourselves and each other with those same attributes. The MAC remains committed to ensuring physicians have access to emotional and wellness supports to help enable their success in a challenging environment.
I would like to thank LHSC’s quality improvement team whose data analysis and documentation has enabled much of our success, as well as my MAC colleagues and all LHSC physicians for their efforts toward improving quality care. I look forward to continuing this work in the coming year.