March 8, 2013: St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital (STEGH) is a top performing
hospital in Ontario and patients are reaping the benefits of that achievement. By
introducing Lean methodology (called Transforming Care at STEGH) and continuously
seeking improvements to the patient care experience, STEGH is at the top of the
list on three of five of the province's pay-for-performance indicators.
As a leader among 74 hospitals participating in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term
Care's Pay For Results initiative program, STEGH received an additional $1.4 million
last year and anticipates another $1.7 million for this year's results.
The South West LHIN is also financially supporting STEGH for their success in Transforming
Care. STEGH received just over $1 million one-time funding (spread over 3 years)
to lead a Knowledge Transfer program to share these successful strategies with other
community hospitals within the South West LHIN.
STEGH's Transforming Care journey started in August 2011 using the lean approach,
which is about working to design, improve, and deliver care as seen through the
"A different approach to change is critical to meeting our vision to deliver an
excellent patient care experience, every time, while meeting the demands of a rapidly
changing health care system," explains STEGH President and CEO Paul Collins. "Our
Transforming Care journey has been focused on re-thinking patient flow throughout
the hospital and making significant changes, like those that have resulted in STEGH
ranking as the #1 hospital in Ontario for emergency wait times."
Four senior executives recently returned from a learning trip to Singapore where
they met with health officials and visited hospitals further along the Lean path
to advance the hospital's ongoing transforming care work, and to learn more about
lean architectural design to inform their upcoming redevelopment build project.
This team provided a nursing, physician and financial perspective and the perspective
of a front line manager deeply involved in knowledge transfer. The total cost for
the site visit to Singapore was $16,000, approximately $4,000 per person.
Dr. Nancy Whitmore STEGH Vice President and Chief of Staff, who went on the trip,
says Singapore is several years ahead of STEGH in using Lean concepts to improve
their healthcare system. "This is the journey we are on and we are seeing great
results that benefit our patients and our community. We need to continue to look
for ways to improve and the best examples are not always in our own backyard."
The team made site visits to eight hospitals and health care facilities, met Ministry
of Health officials as well as architects. "This was an enlightening experience
to see and understand an advanced healthcare system that has integrated lean thinking
and patient centeredness to the extent that they have," explains VP and Chief Nursing
Executive Karen Davies. "This was a very unique and timely opportunity to inform
not only our transforming care journey, but our redevelopment project as our tours
also included mental health, emergency departments and surgical suites."
"We are committed to continually improving the patient care experience for our community.
They deserve the best," says STEGH President and CEO Paul Collins.