Southlake receives international acclaim

Selected as 2014 winner of McKesson Distinguished Achievement Award for clinical excellence through use of technology  

If you ask staff  at Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre why they were recognized for dramatically reducing patient wait-times, they will tell you that electronic boards sure have a lot to do with it.

At first glance you might think there was a flat-screen television in each of the hospital’s patient-care areas. But if you look closely you’ll see these are not just regular televisions.  They are sophisticated electronic boards that have contributed to improved flow and a reduction of up to 18 per cent in wait times in the hospital’s emergency department.

Now, the hospital and its staff are being awarded for using this new technology so efficiently.

Southlake was recently recognized as the first international recipient of the McKesson Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence for the McKesson Performance Visibility project (MPV).


The MPV boards give members of the healthcare team important safety and flow information instantly. Information like the location of patients, estimated date of discharge, a patient’s risk of falling, and whether or not a patient has been placed on precautionary measures to avoid the risks associated with infectious disease.

It allows staff to better track patient safety, quality and flow, says Sue Grills, Project Manager at Southlake and a key player in the MPV Project.  She’s very happy to see staff being recognized and awarded for not only embracing this technology but also for using it so efficiently. “It’s made things easier because now everyone knows how many patients are coming in and out.  It’s really helped ensure staff are all on the same page.  Everyone can see how many beds are available to patients by taking a quick look at the screen.”

Southlake President and CEO Dr. Dave Williams accepted the award and a $5000 cheque earmarked for the Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation from McKesson Canada. For him, it is the meaning behind the award that is most important to the Hospital.  “We were thrilled to learn that Southlake had been the successful recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence,” said Dr. Williams. “For me, the award is a tangible symbol of our relentless commitment to excellence and to identifying new opportunities and technologies that can improve the hospital experience for our patients. It’s what we strive to achieve every single day in everything we do.”

Southlake Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President, Relationships Helena Hutton agrees.

“This technology is saving us time and allows our team members to focus their attention on what’s really important – delivering the shockingly excellent experience that patients have come to expect from us here at Southlake.”


Over the past two years, Southlake has achieved tremendous outcomes for patients through the technology, including a reduction in the time it takes to admit a patient who has come into the Emergency Department for care. Overall wait times dropped by up to 18 per cent, and the average number of patients waiting in the Department dropped by as much as 17 per cent.

Patients at Southlake have been benefitting from shorter wait times, a more seamless transition through the Hospital, and improved health outcomes since the new advanced technology was brought in.

On inpatient units, the healthcare team experienced 400 fewer interruptions each day.  The equivalent of 12.2 hours in phone calls related to room status and patient assignments.  The MPV boards also helped staff better identify patients who are at risk of falling and cut the total number of patient falls with associated injuries in half.

The Award is presented annually by the McKesson Corporation – a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better – to a hospital or health system that has achieved great results in improving healthcare quality and patient safety through the effective use of McKesson technology.


“Southlake has demonstrated innovation in patient flow management, improving its ability to provide its growing patient population with high-quality care in a cost-efficient manner,” said Jim Pesce, President of Enterprise Information Solutions, McKesson Technology Solutions.

The winner of the 2014 Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence was decided at a live competition in Fall 2014. The eight finalists, including Southlake, were selected from a diverse group of applicants from across Canada and the United States who underwent a rigorous application process that involved multiple phases and objective evaluation.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of four industry experts based on the Institute of Medicine’s six aims of quality healthcare: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. According to the McKesson Corporation and the final evaluation, Southlake’s application effectively addressed all six aims.