At The Scarborough Hospital (TSH), providing safe, high quality care to the thousands of new moms, infants and children we serve each year is not only a priority for us, but a privilege. Today, I’d like to talk to you about how we’ve earned a reputation for excellence in our Maternal Newborn and Child Care (MNCC) program and what we’re doing to continue to serve our youngest patients and their families with both expertise and compassion.
TSH’s innovation in obstetrical and paediatric care runs deep. In the 1980s, the Birchmount campus was the first hospital in Ontario to establish a home-like birthing unit when it introduced the labour, delivery, recovery and post-partum (LDRP) model of care, which provides all care in the same hospital room.
Since then, we have continued to innovate and expand our services. In 1997, we introduced our pioneering “’Til I Sleep” program, which allows parents to accompany their children into the operating room until the child has been anaesthetized or “falls asleep.” In 2007, we implemented our “Paedlink” clinics at both campuses as a way to quickly move children and their families from the Emergency Department to a specialized paediatric clinic and ease what can be a stressful experience for young patients.
Expectant parents also now benefit from a wide-range of programs designed to provide an outstanding care experience, such as pre-natal tours and classes, an early pregnancy assessment clinic, a breastfeeding clinic, and an umbilical cord banking partnership with Inception Lifebank Cord Blood Program.
All of our services are delivered by an interprofessional team that includes more than 20 midwives, over 110 nurses, 22 obstetricians/gynaecologists and 18 paediatricians.
These efforts have led to some very impressive results.
For the last two years, TSH has had the best rates in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for providing women with a successful vaginal birth after caesarean section, as measured by the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) Canadian Hospital Reporting Project (CHRP). In addition, the hospital’s performance in Ontario’s pregnancy, birth and childhood registry – known as the Better Outcomes Registry and Network, or BORN – not only exceeds our peer hospitals, but in many cases rates ahead of the entire province.
TSH also scores higher than the average for hospitals in the GTA and other hospitals in the province in several key areas related to patient feedback, including:
- patient satisfaction with doctors and nurses;
- answering questions and explaining test results;
- trusting the care team; and,
- paying close attention to the continuity of care by discussing, prior to discharge, things like medications and warning signs or potential changes in a patient’s condition.
We are very proud of the work that has gone into achieving these outstanding outcomes and we’re just as committed to improving upon them. Recently, we’ve made some important investments in our MNCC program so families can continue to benefit from world-class care close to home.
Last year, we instituted a comprehensive action plan for the obstetrical service, which began with a rebranding and update of our patient education materials. This multi-faceted plan also includes:
- expanding our midwifery program by welcoming a second group of midwives to practice at TSH;
- recruiting additional obstetricians to better serve our community; and,
- renovating and updating the Family Maternity Centre at the Birchmount campus.
The renovation at the Birchmount campus will receive support from The Scarborough Hospital Foundation’s exciting, new “I Support My Scarborough Hospital” campaign, which is raising funds to revitalize various programs within the hospital.
In addition, we recently combined a number of post-partum beds with the Paediatric units at each campus. At the General campus, we relocated the Paediatric unit to the same floor as the Family Maternity Centre in order to maximize on the already close relationship between both departments. As part of this project, nursing staff underwent a comprehensive cross-training program to enhance their skills so they can confidently care for patients on either unit.
And, we have further good news to share. TSH recently achieved a Level IIC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit designation from the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health for our General campus. This designation means that TSH can now provide specialized neonatal care to infants that deliver between 30 and 32 weeks gestation, and allows the infants to remain with their mothers at TSH instead of being transferred to another hospital.
We are also currently working with Rouge Valley Health System to explore options to introduce a regional program for advanced neonatal care in our community. The preferred model will be announced in the months ahead.
Strong hospitals respond to the essential needs of the community they serve. TSH has a clear track record in providing the best care to women and children in our community. Our recent investments and future plans for the MNCC program will ensure we continue to help create strong families for our community.