St. Joseph’s Health Care London

  • Location: London, Ontario, Canada
  • Award: Canadian Healthcare Organization of Distinction
  • Awarded: February 2019

As a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, St. Joseph’s Health Care London’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services include St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Parkwood Mental Health, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care and community based and outreach services.

Across the sites, St. Joseph’s houses more than 1,000 beds, performs over 23,000 day/short stay surgeries, 46,000 urgent care visits and over 900,000 outpatient/outreach visits annually, many of which extend into our community and region. They are home to more than 8,000 employees, physicians, researchers, medical students, residents and clinical fellows.

Their research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute (a joint venture with a partner organization), continues to direct  research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. With more than 2,880 active research projects, Lawson attracts $126 million in research funding each year. In this year’s Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals list, Lawson posted the highest research intensity (research spending per researcher) among large institutions.

In 2011, St. Joseph’s was awarded Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada which was sustained again in 2015. This outstanding achievement illustrates St. Joseph’s commitment to quality and excellence across all aspects of health care, from patient safety to staff training and partnering with the community, so they may provide the very best programs and services to their patients and residents.

Their vision is to “earn complete confidence in the care we provide and make a lasting difference in the quest to live fully.” They have invited people to let them know if they have earned their complete confidence and why.  If St. Joseph’s has not earned it, then they believe it is their opportunity to improve.

Their 2018-2021 strategic plan focuses on reaching out to the people who need them most; connecting care to support body, mind and spirit; innovating and building new knowledge together; leveraging technology to transform care and knowledge and empowering people. Interwoven throughout all of their work are the key principles of uncompromising quality and safety, partnerships with patients, residents and family caregivers, and advocacy and collaboration.

When St. Josephs began their work with Studer Group in 2012, they identified key goals for improvements in the areas of staff and physician engagement, patient experience, leadership excellence and others. Over the past seven years, their organization has realized significant gains in these key priority areas and continues its relentless pursuit in the areas of quality and safety.

Key highlights include:

  • An increase in staff engagement scores from 61.2% to 78%
  • An increase in physician engagement from 51.8% to 82%
  • A demonstrated focus on measuring top box performance in patient experience

In the area of patient safety, they’ve witnessed significant decreases in falls with injury while continuing to decrease the use of restraints in long term care, reduced medication errors and achieved and sustained hand hygiene compliance rates. They have embraced a goal of never events in medication safety recognizing that never events require always behaviour.

Hardwiring excellence in all that St. Joseph’s does has been embraced across the organizations by leaders, physicians and front-line staff. More than 2,200 staff and 315 leaders have participated in crucial conversations and crucial accountability training designed to support excellence in quality of care, service and work life. They recently hosted their twenty third Leadership Development Institute (LDI) where on average 93 percent of their leadership team and 100 percent of union leaders are in attendance. Over the past two years, they have also begun to increase physician leader engagement with 70 percent attendance at the most recent LDI. Content and workshops are designed to be in service to excellence in patient experience, employee engagement and safety for all. Survey data from the past two years, indicated a 82 percent rating of very good to excellent on overall LDI value.

With a key focus on staff safety, physical and psychological, they have reduced workplace injuries and adopted the Canadian Standards Association’s Canadian National Standard for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace. A cross functional, cross organization working group was established to maximize staff engagement in learning and planning of strategies to identify and mitigate hazards that contribute to psychological harm to the employee and physician, implement strategies for prevention of risk for psychological harm, develop strategies for the promotion of employees’ and physicians’ psychological health and create processes to resolve incidents and/or concerns.

Throughout it all, St. Joseph’s never lose sight of their patients, residents and family caregivers. They have created a Care Partnership model to ensure patients and family caregivers are integral to all they do. They are committed to purposefully partner with them in their direct care, the design of the programs and services and their advocacy efforts, all focused on improved patient experience and outcomes. St. Joseph’s recognizes the importance of reaching out and will continue to be an active partner in building regional coalitions for health equity to ensure that excellent care, as affirmed by their community, is accessible to everyone.

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