This past year, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre achieved many accomplishments guided by our Strategic Plan 2020 and its five Strategic Directions (Patient Experience, Comprehensive Clinical Care, Seniors’ Health, Indigenous Health and Acute Mental Health). The successes contributed to the delivery of quality patient care and improved patient flow – ensuring patients access the right care, at the right time.
Improving patient flow continues to be one of our main challenges; indeed, over the years we have seen regular increases of inpatient admissions up until 2018-19, the first year where we experienced stabilization. It is still early to boast we are succeeding, but we think that several initiatives introduced in the last year have led to avoided admissions, improved patient journey at the Hospital, from admission to discharge, while maintaining safe, quality care and patient satisfaction. Patient flow remains as one of the largest issues affecting our Hospital, however our Emergency Department (ED) (where a very significant fraction of our patient admissions occur) is becoming less busy, which could also impact our overall admission rate. Furthermore, the examples below describe some of the progresses within each Strategic Direction that contributed to improved patient flow.
Comprehensive Clinical Care
A new computerized bed report has made significant improvements by providing efficient and detailed bed occupancy reports in real-time, which allows members of our health care team to better track patient occupancy and address potential service delays for patients in a more timely and accurate way. This new system is a foundational change that sets the stage for upcoming patient flow improvement strategies and initiatives.
Patient Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS) have now been implemented Hospital-wide. Co-developed by patients and health care providers, PODS improve the discharge process and help patients better manage their post-hospitalization care by providing them with clear and easy-to-understand instructions upon discharge. A true example of Patient and Family Centred Care, the tool ensures a smooth transition from hospital to home, which is an important part of the overall patient journey.
Senior patients at our Hospital are receiving the right care, at the right time, and by the right provider thanks to expanded coverage for the Geriatric Assessment program. Beginning whenever frail elderly patients arrive in the Emergency Department, the specialized staff assigned to the program identify the needs of senior patients much sooner, which has helped reduce the average length of stay by half – meaning that vulnerable senior patients are not spending more time in the hospital than needed. Additionally, over 150 unnecessary hospital admissions have been avoided this year.
A new discharge planning collaboration was developed that successfully integrated Dilico Anishinabek Family Care Discharge Planners in our clinical teams. We are now pursuing formal partnerships with other Indigenous health provider organizations in order to expand and improve discharge planning for Indigenous patients.
Acute Mental Health
An expanded Consultation Liaison Service provides hospitalized patients wherever they are in the Hospital with access to specialized and appropriate mental health care. The service refers patients to psychiatric or behavioural management and liaises with the referring clinical treatment team. The staff in this service also facilitate the transfer of patients to other mental health care services in our community whenever required, connecting patients to the care they need, when and where they need it.
You’ll read about these initiatives and more in this Annual Report.
We are on track to meet our remaining Strategic Plan 2020 commitments. Our successes would not be possible without the dedication of our talented staff, physicians, researchers, volunteers and donors. Their commitment to our Patient and Family Centred Care philosophy and improved patient journey is truly remarkable
Thank you for contributing to our vision of aspiring to be healthy together.
President & CEO
President & CEO