Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 8(2) March 2005 : 82-84.doi:10.12927/hcq..17049

Healthcare Quarterly Case Study Library

Ken Tremblay


Welcome to Healthcare Quarterly's Case Study Library. We have created this library to offer readers quick and easy access to best practices and innovations as they happen. Our format is a click away, easy-to-use and practical. So practical that we hope that practitioners and leaders alike will use this library to advance their knowledge and understanding of emerging trends, to share successes and lessons learned and to initiate dialogue within and among teams and organizations.

Whether it's about your results with a clinical practice guideline, a unique approach to a common problem or a life-altering "Eureka" moment, the Case Study Library is the place to let the world - or at least your colleagues in Canada - know about it. Periodically, we will highlight various articles and trends in Healthcare Quarterly - so be prepared to have your case study cited as leading-edge.

We know you will enjoy this new product from Longwoods. Enjoy, and every success with the best practices and lessons you will learn from its contributors.

Collaborating to Innovate and Improve Patient-Centred Care at Hamilton Health Sciences

Ann Russell, Heather Campbell, Marlene Scardamalia, Mary Lamon, Blake Melnick, Jennifer Henderson, Chuck Cunningham, Anne Matheson and Nancy Smith Lea

ABSTRACT Although working in teams is common for most healthcare practitioners today, the Romanow Report (2002) directed our collective attention toward the need for effective interprofessional collaboration in primary healthcare settings. Subsequently, federal policy and funding agencies, such as CANARIE Inc. and the Office of Learning Technologies, focused efforts on promoting interprofessional practice using new technologies. Ideally, effective interprofessional collaboration leads to improvements in patient care - yet how do organizations assess where they are and where they need to go to optimize teamwork and collaborative practices? This was exactly the design challenge taken up by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) in a recent collaborative pilot project with the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology (IKIT) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. An interprofessional task force was struck to develop a new philosophy of patient care for HHS. The main challenge was to shift teamwork from exclusive reliance on face-to-face meetings and use of one-way communication technologies (e.g., voice mail and e-mail) toward asynchronous collaboration in a communal database technology called Knowledge ForumĀ®. Results of the project reveal that participation in Knowledge ForumĀ® successfully supported interprofessional teamwork and collaboration, democratized the knowledge-creation process, reduced turnaround times for interprofessional teamwork and provided a supportive environment for sharing multiple sources of evidence, including patient survey data, to support the knowledge-creation process. New technologies that support interprofessional teams to produce public knowledge of value to the local and extended community, such as the new philosophy of patient-centred care that emerged in this project, are powerful media for hospital-based teamwork.

Mount Sinai Hospital Develops "Sinai e-Learning": Making It Simpler for Busy Clinical Staff to Master Healthcare Applications

Marilyn Sanli

ABSTRACT With the steady rise in the number of clinical applications, increasingly busy clinical staff has to continually learn how to utilize new technology in order to provide the best patient care. Recognizing that this situation was only going to become more invasive, Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital expedited the learning process, enabling its clinical staff to spend more time with patients. As part of Mount Sinai's Informatics Technovision Unit, the Systems Education team was challenged with delivering a better method of education. Working together with in-house clinicians, the Systems Education team developed "Sinai e-Learning," a blended learning initiative incorporating the best of computer and classroom training to make it easier for its clinical staff to quickly master new and upgraded applications. Sinai e-Learning has been well received by clinical staff, who believe it expedites the mastery of new applications, while enabling them to fit learning around their busy schedules. It has also been well received by hospital administrators, who have been able to reduce classroom and instructor time - enabling the hospital to free up additional budget for other aspects of patient care.

Benchmarking Patient Complaints Data across Ontario Hospitals: University Health Network Invites Collaboration

Sharon Rogers and Belinda Vilhena

What do patients want from hospital-based healthcare services?
Why are patients unhappy with their experiences?
What can hospitals do to make things better?
What specific areas are ripe for quality improvement initiatives?

These are questions that hospital executives have increasingly struggled with for the last decade. Efforts to determine the answers to these questions have been implemented, and important knowledge is now available to healthcare administrators within their organizations and through benchmarking across the board. However, a rich and important source of patient feedback has been ignored. Specifically, when patients are unhappy with their experiences they seek assistance and redress from the hospital-based complaints department. While the names of these departments vary across Ontario, and while authority and scope of practice may also vary, it is increasingly common for all hospitals to identify an individual(s) to respond to patient concerns. Individual hospitals are eager to learn from the data collected in their "complaints departments," and many intra-hospital improvements come from this source of information.

Improving Work Life Quality: A Diagnostic Approach Model

Samantha Kearns

ABSTRACT A high quality of work life is essential for organizations to continue to attract and retain employees. The continued restructuring, downsizing and reorganization of the healthcare system has negatively impacted staff morale and job satisfaction across Ontario.

This paper outlines the systematic approach used at Bluewater Health in Sarnia, Ontario, to recognize the importance of quality of work life and progresses from diagnosis to implementation of improvements, with positive outcomes.

Successfully Challenging Traditional Working Practices within Orthopaedics

Jennifer Faraone, Susan Bisaillon, Kathy Elliott, Jane Cuthbert, Cindy Doucette and Joan Shaw

ABSTRACT Building on its vision to be a leader in health innovation, Trillium Health Centre has undertaken a unique approach toward creating a supportive infrastructure to promote a culture of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and to empower staff and physicians to deliver evidence-based care consistently, appropriately and safely. The article describes how members of an orthopaedic team successfully challenged traditional working practices and seized the opportunity to achieve best practice for patients with a fractured hip or undergoing a total knee replacement. Successes have since been achieved and sustained, and have resulted in positive implications for patients, teams members and the organization.

Although the hospital's approach to best practice may be unique in comparison to other hospitals, it is one that can be replicated and applied at other healthcare organizations.

Development of a Regional Clinical Pathway for Total Hip Replacement in a Rural Health Network

Jessica Meleskie and Katrina Wilson

ABSTRACT The Grey Bruce Health Network began developing regional clinical pathways in 2002 (Meleskie and Wilson 2003). The Total Hip Replacement (THR) pathway was one of the first developed. The THR pathway has three stages: an acute stage for the first five hospital days following surgery, a post-acute stage for convalescent care in hospital and a community-care stage for community physiotherapy after hospital discharge. Pilot results (119 patients) have shown an increase in information transfer, streamlining care and increasing efficiencies (capacity savings of over $92,000), increased usage of best practices, more consistent care across the continuum of care and decreased length of stay (by 1.55 days) at the regional hospital centre.

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About the Author(s)

Ken Tremblay, Chair, Editorial Advisory Board


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