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A brief introduction to QHC’s new strategic projects

We’re off to a great start with our 2020/21 strategic initiatives. The weekly Wednesday morning Grassroots Transformation meetings have resumed – albeit through Zoom – and projects that will help us to achieve our objectives for the year are getting underway.

What ARE our objectives for the year? A more detailed communication was sent to staff and physicians back in August but, if you’ll recall, we adjusted our 2020/21 strategic initiatives in light of the pandemic to focus on 1) being prepared for a second wave so we can keep our patients and staff safe; and 2) taking advantage of the innovation and system collaboration sparked by COVID-19.

We landed on three objectives for this year:

  1. Have no COVID-19 transmission at QHC
  2. Move care to the patient
  3. Enhance timely access to care

Each of these objectives align with our 2018-2021 strategic priorities of ‘supporting seamless care’, ‘being a healthy workplace’, 'always improving how we work’, and ‘using technology to enable high quality care.

Our 2020/21 projects all relate to at least one of our three objectives. While the scope of some of these projects is still being narrowed down, the following is a brief introduction to the strategic projects we are focused on.

Safety Huddles
Enhancing the culture of personal accountability for safety through departmental safety huddles. The goal is to have 250 frontline-identified safety improvement ideas implemented QHC-wide by March. The four themes for the safety ideas include: infection prevention and control; personal protective equipment (PPE); violence prevention; and Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) back to basics.

Virtual Care
Appropriate use of virtual care is often safer and more convenient for patients, staff and physicians and may enable QHC to maintain services in the event of future shut downs. The purpose of this project is to identify and enable all potential virtual care opportunities.

Time to Inpatient Bed
QHC is ranked in the bottom third of the province for ‘time to inpatient bed’. The purpose of the project is to remove the barriers that prevent a patient from being moved quickly from one of our emergency departments to an inpatient unit, in turn resulting in patients getting the right care, in the right place, by the right professional.

Unit-Based PPE Coaches
To assist staff in making good decisions when it comes to PPE, unit-based PPE coaches will provide guidance and feedback to staff to help ensure safety is paramount and no COVID-19 transmission occurs at QHC.

Transition Calls
To improve quality of patient care and reduce readmission rates, patient flow coordinators will call patients within 48 hours of discharge (current scope includes Quinte 4, Quinte 5 and Sills 4), to assist in supporting patients at home while identifying gaps and connecting patients to appropriate supports.

Consultant Response Time
Our physician consultant response time in QHC’s emergency departments is currently more than 40% higher during the overnight hours than it is during the rest of the day. This project will examine why, and what can be done to remedy this to ensure timely access to care.

COPD Discharge Transitions
Our Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) admission volumes are high, resulting in more inpatient bed days and higher exacerbation risks for COPD patients. We will improve the discharge process for COPD patients and work together with multiple community partners to help patients manage their COPD at home. A community respiratory therapist will be on site representing some of our local primary care teams and to assist with discharge information.