Trillium Health Partners is no stranger to the power of partnering for patients. In fact, it was a driving force behind the decision to merge The Credit Valley Hospital and Trillium Health Centre, two extremely efficient and highly regarded organizations. Motivated by the belief that together we could do more for our patients, we knew that we had a unique opportunity to change the face of healthcare in our community.
As we mark our first anniversary as one hospital, we also reflect on a year of achievement and change. The benefits of partnering for our patients continue to emerge and reinforce our conviction that we are better together – better for our patients and families, better for our community and better for the future of health care.
With a focus on delivering results for our patients, we developed our first Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) as one hospital, focused on providing better access and higher quality to our patients. As a result of our efficient operations, we also achieved a balanced budget. Our new streamlined administration supports our overall sustainability by reducing costs and reinvesting savings into frontline care.
While continuing to provide the highest quality care to our patients, there is no doubt we accomplished much in the first year of our merger, especially in light of the incredible pace of change within our hospital and the increasing demand for services within our community.
Our emergency departments (ED) are among the busiest in the province. Last year there were 243,069 visits to our emergency departments and urgent care centre. This year, we expect at least 8,000 more visits – a four per cent increase in just one year. Despite this rise in demand for services, patients are being seen sooner on average when they come to the ED. We have experienced a seven per cent improvement in wait times across all of our sites this year (up to October 2012), compared with wait times over the last fiscal year (2011-12). And, wait times at the Credit Valley location have improved by 27 per cent over the last fiscal year. These results for patients have been achieved by working together, across all sites, to ensure we are maximizing all available resources and sharing best practices.
We have also experienced improvements to our Alternate Level of Care (ALC) rates. In a four month time span, our ALC rates fell from 13 per cent in Q4 (fiscal year 2011-12), to 11.5 per cent in Q1 of the current fiscal year (2012-13). This 11.5 per cent improvement reflects our ability to enhance patient flow across our sites, ensuring these patients receive the right type of care, in the right place, when they need it most. At the same time, we introduced an assessment tool to help identify patients at the highest risk for returning to hospital within 30 days of discharge, ultimately to ensure these patients have the right supports in place when they leave the hospital.
Last year our founding hospitals also launched the Mississauga Academy of Medicine in collaboration with U of T’s Faculty of Medicine and U of T Mississauga. We welcomed our inaugural class of 54 students in September. By 2015 we will have 216 medical students at the academy, studying and training at our hospital sites. This exciting partnership positions us to build stronger and healthier communities by investing in the next generation of doctors, working with health care teams right here in our community.
A New Kind of Health Care
We are also excited to mark our first year as one hospital with the release of our new strategic plan. As our diverse community continues to grow and age, and more people are living with chronic diseases, we’re taking into account the inevitable changes on the horizon. We know that to continue to deliver exceptional patient care, we must think and act differently, and take a new and innovative approach to the delivery of health care. Our mission is clear: a new kind of health care for a healthier community.
When we set out to build our strategy based on a new approach to health, we reached out to our community. We communicated with over 300,000 people – patients, families, staff, physicians, volunteers, and our health care partners – and received input from more than 23,000, to help shape our vision and establish our priorities. We listened to the community, and took this feedback to head in a new direction.
Quality, Access and Sustainability
Quality, access and sustainability are the foundational goals of our Strategic Plan, and core drivers of our success. These strategic goals anchor our efforts and everything we do at our hospital. We are continuously guided by our desire to achieve the highest quality of care that is easily accessible for our community, at the lowest cost.
While we have performed well in each of these areas in the past, new thinking is required to maintain or improve delivery of services. We will achieve this in two ways: by focusing on excellence in the delivery of high quality hospital care and by working with our partners to better meet the growing needs of our community. Our Strategic Plan builds on our success from the past and continues to advance our goals within the hospital.
To achieve this we will focus on three strategic priorities:
· Highest Quality Care, Exceptional Experience – our priority is for our highly qualified inter-professional teams to deliver quality care while providing a seamless, exceptional experience for everyone who walks through our doors. That means creating or adopting best practices in all the services we provide and increasing communication and coordination with other health care providers to reduce confusion for patients.
· Right Care, Right Place, Right Time – improve the way transitions are made into and out of the hospital and create a system that provides the best care where and when it is needed.
· Research, Innovation & Education – bridge the gaps and improve the complete process of care, while establishing a new academic mandate of inter-professional education so we can deliver better patient outcomes.
Our success in achieving our vision and strategy relies on the strength, expertise and diversity of our staff, physicians and volunteers, who are committed to delivering exceptional care to our patients. Our strategic plan embodies our people’s aspirations to be leaders in making the health care system work even better for our patients, the community and providers.
Underlying every aspect of the strategy is a commitment to put patients at the centre of all that we do, creating a better experience today, tomorrow and in the future. We recognize that by working in a coordinated way across the system, we can meet the needs of our patients and continue to provide outstanding, sustainable quality patient care.
After years of successful collaboration between our two founding hospitals, we are now moving forward as one organization focused on partnership to realize our long-term vision – a complete system of care that is organized around patients. As partners in creating a new kind of health care, we are Better Together.
Trillium Health Partners – What’s in a name?
· Trillium symbolizes a provincial focus signalling that our vision extends beyond our walls into the system as a whole
· A spring flower, the Trillium suggests hope and renewal. The three petals are separate, yet connected, illustrating how our various sites and services work as one to deliver outstanding care.
· Health Partners represents working together and partnering for the future so that we can keep our community healthy, at every stage of life.
· Under the umbrella of Trillium Health Partners we chose the site names most commonly used by our patients, and that respect our history:
o Credit Valley Hospital
o Mississauga Hospital
o Queensway Health Centre
Trillium Health Partners – a name that unites us and is based on our strong belief that, when it comes to health care, we are all in this together. And as partners in creating a new kind of health care, we are Better Together.