Four hospitals, one system. Each hospital is distinct in size, in the scope of care it provides and in the community it serves. Each facility has a unique environment and a unique history. Despite these differences –
or perhaps because of them – Quinte Health Care has evolved into a dynamic organization founded on
collaboration for the sake of providing exceptional patient care. Let’s explore some examples.
A prominent example of QHC working as one system is when it comes to patient flow. Patient Care
Leads from all four sites come together three times per day – in person or by phone – for bed scrum.
During bed scrum, Bed Traffic Control gathers information from each unit to determine bed needs and
“We want to ensure the right patient gets in the right bed while safely maximizing the utilization of
services across the four sites,” explains Lisa Hildebrand, Manager of Patient Flow.
Bed scrum is a relatively new process that has allowed the organization to have a full picture of patient
and staff needs at any given time and it is the role of Bed Traffic Control to implement a plan based on
“Bed Traffic Control is an art, not a science,” said Lisa. “Multiple factors are considered. It isn’t just about
the numbers; it’s about accommodating the people the best we can.”
“Through bed scrum we can hear what’s happening in other units and speak up when things aren’t going
well in our own,” said Ruthann Hubbs, Manager, TMH Inpatient Unit. “It’s an opportunity to elicit help
from other units and to share staff. It has helped build relations and contributed to accountability, civility and understanding.”
Support and access to services
When times are tough, we can rely on the colleagues we work with closely, as well as our colleagues at
the other hospitals. When the fire closed down BGH Quinte 5 in May, patients were transferred to TMH, PECMH and NHH. We could rely on the strength of our own organization to get us through the difficult
Similarly, when we have a lengthy downtime in Diagnostic Imaging because new equipment is being installed – as we did recently for the installation of a new CT scanner at TMH – we have the backup of our other hospitals to keep up with patient load.
Dr. Rans Perera, Chief/Medical Director, Emergency, explains how being part of a multi‐hospital system
is beneficial for Emergency physicians and patients – “As emergency physicians, being part of a collective corporation significantly helps us provide our patients with advanced diagnostics and specialty care. In lone community hospitals elsewhere in the province there is a constant struggle to access specialty services and advanced diagnostics with incredible complications and transfer delays. Being a part of QHC, our three smaller community hospitals (TMH, PECMH, NHH) get immediate access to the vast array of specialty services (major surgical services, internal medicine, oncology, pediatrics, obs/gyne and psychiatry) with minimal delays and hassles.”
Each hospital has its own unique array of services and specialties that our patients can depend on. A good example is with our surgical program. BGH is generally for longer, more complicated cases, TMH takes the lead on day surgery cases where patients are not admitted, and PECMH has an efficient Gastrointestinal Endoscopy unit (a procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract).
“As far as surgery is concerned, BGH, TMH and Picton serve different but complementary roles,” said Dr. Florian Braig, Chief/Medical Director, Surgery. “The three hospitals form a network of integrated surgical
services that is organized and booked centrally through BGH.”
“We’ve certainly come a long way when it comes to working as one collaborative system,” said Mary Clare Egberts, President & CEO. “Our four hospitals have distinct cultures and rich histories and our communities have come to expect great care from each one of our facilities. I feel privileged and proud to be part of this unique organization.”