Thursday, September 24, 2009

Preliminary accreditation results outstanding!

By: Rik Ganderton
President and CEO RVHS
To: All staff, physicians and volunteers of RVHS

Congratulations and a big thank you!

Thank you to all staff, physicians and volunteers! The work you do everyday at Rouge Valley lives up to our vision to be the best at what we do. I want to thank everyone involved in the Accreditation Canada survey that was completed Wednesday. The preliminary report presented yesterday to staff, physicians and volunteers, by the surveyors, was extremely positive and one that we should take great pride in. I want to thank you not only for the tremendous efforts by all related to the rigorous accreditation process, but also for the patient-focused work and improvements you have all actively driven forward at Rouge Valley Health System. The Accreditation Canada surveyors noticed. More importantly, our patients are noticing.

The surveyors’ report shined an external light on the progress and top-notch work you all perform.

We will get official notification of formal accreditation status in 10 days time. Overall, we believe our results are outstanding and we should all be extremely proud of the accomplishments we have made as a team.

There are several opportunities for improvement, which we welcome and will act upon. What makes even the opportunities for improvement so telling about the quality of work you all do, is that you are already addressing most of the issues. In fact, many of you, actually identified the opportunities for the surveyors.

We were commended for many activities and processes.
· Of the 1,700 Quality Criteria/Dimensions applicable to RVHS we met 1,636 or 96.5% - this is fantastic!
· One of our approaches to patient safety, our Passport to Safety, has been identified and will be recommended to Accreditation Canada as a leading practice and national benchmark. Our three senior management team members, who have experience as accreditation surveyors, tell me they have rarely seen organizations where this has happened before. While the report is not approved yet, even a recommendation like this is outstanding!
· Strategic Plan-on-a-Page and everyone’s, including external stakeholders, knowledge of and active implementation of it was cited in the report.
· The Personal Business Commitments process stood out for the surveyors.
· Our use of Lean in our ongoing transformation of patient care quality improvement and hospital services.
· Our Quality and Risk Framework and our commitment to quality, plus staff and patient safety were highlighted as strength.
· Our communications processes and community relationships were also listed as strengths.
· Financial controls and our balanced budget plan impressed the surveyors.
· Pandemic planning and code policies and procedures were also strengths.
· Patient focus in ambulatory care was noted as was our focus on patient flow in emergency.
· Our attention to emerging health needs in paediatrics was noted as a strength.
· Improved turnaround time for reports in diagnostic imaging was cited.

I could go on and on, so please read the presentation by the surveyors themselves.

The presentation is posted on our intranet as a PDF, accessible internally for staff, physicians and volunteers, only.

This significant external validation of your work says more than anything about your daily commitment to our patients, to our hospital, to our community and to our team.

Be proud Rouge Valley. You’ve earned it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thank you and stay the course!

A joint Blog by RVHS Board Chair Janet Ecker and President/CEO Rik Ganderton
- To all staff, physicians, volunteers of RVHS


If we had to pick one word that describes what has been achieved by the Rouge Valley team, then that would be the word.

Making progress is no small feat in the constantly challenging healthcare environment.
Thank you for your commitment to driving progress at our community hospital. It has been, is and will continue to be, a team effort.

As we move through the period of leadership transition, the Board wants our staff, physicians and volunteers to know that we fully support continuing on the road of transformation, accountability and quality focus that we have started on.
President and CEO Rik Ganderton and Chief of Staff Naresh Mohan are completing their terms in their respective positions. Both are staying on until the searches for their replacements are complete.

The RVHS Board of Directors wants everyone to know that it is totally committed to the transformative direction that you as staff, physicians and volunteers have been implementing with such success. The board is looking for new leaders to build on those successes; leaders who will continue our focus on quality, constant improvement and accountability.

Thank you for earning our achievements through your active participation in transformation initiatives and teamwork.
As you know, we have made progress on the key measures aligned with our Strategic Plan –

• The designation this year by the Central East Local Health Integration Network (CE LHIN) of Rouge Valley Cardiology as the regional centre for the 401 corridor was an important recognition and reaffirmation for us. The designation set out in the Hospital Clinical Services Plan also supports our Strategic Plan, which selected cardiac care as one of our centres of excellence.

• Quality patient care is another area of progress, as evidenced by our published quality indicators. Continued focus by our staff and physicians is demonstrating success –

• We are living within our means, as mandated by the province. We had an excellent first fiscal year of our three-year Deficit Elimination Plan. We maintained service volumes and improved quality while generating a small surplus. Although we are hitting some challenges in the first quarter results of this, the second fiscal year, we know we can succeed by applying greater focus on funded health services, as highlighted in our Town Halls in September.
We need to continue to improve our quality of care and our financial position by improving our management of volumes and case mix, by eliminating conservable days, following the new standardized clinical pathways and eliminating waste through the aggressive use of Lean principles. By doing this we can:
-Generate sufficient surpluses to enhance our core services, as we identified in our Strategic Plan;
-Cover unfunded inflation costs;
-Address capital needs; and
-Pay down our working capital deficit and long-term debt.
All of this will help us sustain and improve the healthcare we provide to our patients.

• Transformation of processes for delivering services to patients has been a success, as evidenced by:
-Improved patient flow and discharge planning for our patients at both campuses;
-Faster turn around time for lab test results for our patients at both campuses;
-Improved emergency department discharges at Rouge Valley Centenary, where 83.3 per cent of ambulatory patients are now discharged in less than three hours (among the lowest of discharge times in Toronto).

• Commitment to our vision to be the best at what we do, evidenced throughout Rouge Valley Health System in the improving care provided everyday. This commitment also comes through in the Personal Business Commitments starting with the CEO’s Personal Business Commitments, aligned throughout senior management. (

• Leadership. Rouge Valley Health System is increasingly seen as a leader in quality, accountability, and in our application of Lean as part of our ongoing transformation journey.

We really can’t stress enough that these successes, and many others, are the direct result of your daily attention to providing the best healthcare experience for our patients and their families.

So as we face funding challenges in the near future, and work to get patients home sooner (reducing conservable days) we ask you all to focus your plans and daily efforts for our hospital and our patients.

Thank you and stay the course!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Skills survey for pandemic planning

President's Blog by Rik Ganderton

We have developed a Pandemic Inventory of Skills Survey to aid in the roll out of our pandemic plan. This survey will allow us to capture employees’ skills sets and list how they can benefit the hospital during a pandemic.

We would use this information to optimize our available human resources and ensure patient-centered care. With the urgency surrounding preparation for the fall and a resurgence of H1N1, it is imperative that all full-time and part-time employees complete this survey. The survey is available from today (Sept. 21) to Oct. 5, 2009, which is when all surveys must be complete.

Here’s the link to the survey (for staff and physicians only).

If you do not have an Outlook email address at RVHS, please fill out the intranet form, print it, then give it to your manager/supervisor/delegate. I ask all managers and directors to ensure the surveys are completed by all staff.

I thank you for your support as Rouge Valley takes this proactive and measured approach to pandemic planning. Thanks, as always, for supporting the Rouge Valley team.”

** For more information on H1N1, please visit our website H1N1 section.