I am pleased to report that after several years of operating in an almost-constant state of surge capacity (over capacity), the number of days operating at over capacity has been drastically reduced. We have been out of surge capacity for 30 days of the last 35 (April 26-May 30, 2016 inclusive). This is great news for everyone. Although the quality of care provided is never compromised, the strain of operating over capacity takes a toll on patients and families, as well as physicians, staff and volunteers, and it has a negative impact on our financial status.
This change did not occur without great effort. It has been a priority of the Board of Directors and the senior leadership team and as it is a complex, system-based issue, identifying solutions involved working closely with our partners along the way.
I am incredibly proud of the many individuals who have worked relentlessly to move us out of surge capacity. I applaud the entire Health Sciences Centre team for successfully implementing many initiatives and changes – large and small – to produce these results. I also celebrate the team’s ongoing commitment to our patients and their families, regardless of capacity. Patient and Family Centred Care is truly at the centre of everything they do.
Recent successes do not mean we rest. We are committed to ongoing improvement, and will strive to eliminate days in surge capacity.
We are also seeking to improve our accessible environment for patients and families, visitors, volunteers and staff requiring accommodation. As we begin to develop the next five-year Accessibility Plan for our organization, we are inviting input from the community. I invite you to take a moment to complete our Accessibility survey at www.tbrhsc.net, and ask that you encourage others to do the same. This will help us to identify the most meaningful and impactful activities and changes we can implement.
Finally, I am pleased to share that staying connected to family and friends while at our Health Sciences Centre has become a lot easier thanks to a partnership with Tbaytel, Free WiFi is now accessible to patients, families and visitors throughout the Hospital. Providing WiFi is another opportunity to enhance patient experiences at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. It is through partnerships and collaborations such as this that we are able to advance and be healthy together.