Headwaters Selected to Share Quality Improvements in Patient Care at National Healthcare
ORANGEVILLE, ON, December 2, 2011 -- Headwaters Health Care Centre has been invited to share the hospital’s success in improving patient flow in the Emergency Department at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 23rd national conference in Orlando, Florida in December 2011.
“It is an honour for Headwaters to have been chosen to share our work on improving quality and patient safety initiatives. It is a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the premier health care leaders in North America on quality improvement and we are looking forward to showcasing the incredible talent and expertise of our staff and physicians at Headwaters,” says Liz Ruegg, interim President and CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s national forum draws nearly 6,000 health care leaders from around the world and thousands more via satellite broadcast to focus on quality improvement and change for safe, effective patient care.
“Each year approximately 35,000 patients visit Headwaters Emergency Department. In 2010, the hospital was challenged to improve our patient’s journey from triage to discharge by examining our process from the patient’s perspective. As an already high performing hospital with emergency wait times well below the provincial average, we knew this would be difficult, but we were very focused on improving patient safety and overall satisfaction,” says Registered Nurse Lynn Armstrong, a team lead on Headwaters Emergency Department quality improvement project.
Headwaters Health Care Centre created a multidisciplinary team including nurses, physicians, diagnostic imaging and laboratory technologists to tackle the challenge. After reviewing the patients flow throughout the department and speaking with staff, physicians and patients the team launched their new “See and Treat” area in the Emergency Department last fall. This was done on a small budget and without any additional staff. Within one month of implementation Headwaters had decreased the patient’s time to be seen by a physician from 3.3 hours to 1.9 hours. The average length of stay in the Emergency Department had decreased from 2.6 hours to 2.4 hours and the percentage of patients who leave without being seen decreased from 3.5% to 1.6%. “One year later emergency staff and physicians have been able to sustain results despite an increase in volume and acuity of patients coming through the Emergency Department,” adds Armstrong.
Headwaters Emergency Department wait times are the third lowest out of 74 Ontario hospitals that participated in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Emergency Department wait time improvement program in 2010.
“Headwaters Health Care Centre is focused on improving patient safety, quality and the overall patient experience. Through our work in the Emergency Department we improved access to emergency care by improving the flow of patients and we balanced the nursing and physician workload. As a result of this work we’ve also reduced wait times in the Emergency Department and improved patient and staff satisfaction,” notes Ruegg.
About Headwaters Health Care Centre
Headwaters Health Care Centre serves more than 135,000 residents in The Town of Caledon and Dufferin County. Headwaters’ operates an 87 bed acute and complex continuing care hospital. For more information, go to www.headwatershealth.ca.
Manager Public Relations & Communications
Headwaters Health Care Centre
100 Rolling Hills Drive
Orangeville, Ontario L9W 4X9