Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sustaining the gains

President's Blog - Rik Ganderton

We’ve had many Kaizen events and Lean-related improvements to bring better and faster care to our patients. Now the key to success for Rouge Valley is sustainment.

So far it has been a very rewarding process to improve ourselves. We have started to change:

The quality of patient care;
lab turn-around times;
patient discharge planning;
the organization, tidiness and flow of the emergency department;
electricity usage;
ambulance offload time;
and more.

And sustaining all of these changes is what I want to stress to you all today.

Our progress in improving Rouge Valley’s quality of patient care, overall efficiency and fiscal health has been tremendous. Now, not only do we have to tackle similar challenges in more areas and departments of the hospital—but we have to make sure we sustain the ones we have already started.

Please remind yourselves, your co-workers and your colleagues of the new processes that have been established. Use the visual management that has been designed as a part of your new processes to make sure you keep doing them. Engrain these improvements in the way you now work everyday. Remember, you created the successes so far—it is up to you and all of us to sustain them. Relentless focus is key.

Financial road to success

Rouge Valley is now entering a period where we should be able to sustain another area of success—a balanced budget. For many months now, Rouge Valley’s leaders and staff have been able to focus the spending of our budget on what is most important for patients. This rigorous fiscal management is translating into not only a balanced run rate—spending no more than we receive from the LHIN—but to small surpluses.

The more surpluses we can continue to generate, the more we can invest in the maintenance and upkeep of our facilities and the upgrading our capital equipment.

Thanks to you

Rouge Valley’s previous years of spending more than it received in funding meant that there was no money left to do proper maintenance. Well, no more. As you have heard me and other senior managers say at our staff Town Hall meetings—it is because of you, our team, that we are now in position to start to do maintenance of our hospital facilities and catch up on the neglect of the past.

In case, I haven’t said it enough: Thank you to all Rouge Valley staff, physicians and volunteers for helping to put us on the right track. There’s still many more improvements to be done, but we are going in the right direction.

We are becoming an organization focused on constant improvement. The more results we can see and measure—with respect to our quality of care, the visible and not-so-visible look of our facilities, and our financial health—the more we can live up to our vision to be the best at what we do.

Transformation themes

Let’s all stay focused on our transformation themes:

Patients first—the best patient/family experience
Earn our reputation as the best everyday
No waste
One team, inspired and involved

Community Outreach

We continue to tour the countryside, so to speak, bringing our community outreach presentations to municipal councils, service clubs and community groups in east Toronto and west Durham. This is all part of our effort to communicate openly and improve understanding of what it takes to become the best at what we do. (You can view and download copies of our past presentations at

If you know of community organizations that would like to know more about the hospital and its improvement journey, please let me know.

As always, keep up your commitment and enthusiasm for improvement. We couldn’t do it with you.