For the coming fiscal year commencing April 1, 2015, The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) will make key investments that support its strategic priorities to enhance the patient experience and improve access to services, while ensuring fiscal sustainability. Building on the successes of the previous fiscal years, this operating plan and budget reflects both efficiencies and quality improvement.
TSH will be making investments in clinical programs to respond to patient needs and increased activity, including the medicine program and specialized geriatrics. Reducing wait times for patient services – emergency, orthopedic surgery, cancer diagnostics and treatment, and cataracts – will continue to be a priority. Capacity in the Nephrology program (chronic kidney disease) will be expanded to meet the growing demand for service. These investments are made possible due, in part, to the hospital’s success in finding efficiencies through its Lean quality improvement program.
Through the capital budget, TSH will increase its investments in medical equipment through operating efficiencies and fundraising activities by The Scarborough Hospital Foundation. Among the key investments is enhancing the patient experience in the Maternal Newborn and Child Care program. In addition, facility upgrades for both hospital sites (General and Birchmount) will be made possible through grants from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, specifically the Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF).
For the new fiscal year, TSH will be implementing many initiatives focused on improving efficiencies or increasing revenues, which will result in a savings of $10.9 million. These initiatives will achieve the following objectives:
- Ensuring the right patient is in the right bed the first time
- Investing in innovations to improve quality of care and efficiencies
- Spreading Lean process improvement
- Reducing the hospital’s debt
- Balancing the operating budget
With this work, there will be minimal impact on staffing across the organization compared to previous fiscal years. Staffing will be adjusted whereby 26 positions (combined full-time and part-time positions) will be reduced; six of these positions are vacancies and five are through TSH’s voluntary staffing efficiency program, leaving 15 affected positions at all levels across the organization.
TSH’s Human Resources team will work with union partners to follow the labour adjustment process and, in accordance with the collective agreement language, the hospital must issue lay-off notices. The receipt of a lay-off notice starts a several months-long process that may/may not result in the person who receives the notice being laid off. Currently, TSH has 61 unfilled positions. The hospital will support staff with ongoing training and development and encourage those affected by lay-offs to consider skills upgrading and skill changes so that they may continue at TSH, if possible.
For the current fiscal year (2014-2015) that ends March 31, 2015, TSH will balance its budget.
Over the past year, TSH implemented 79 initiatives, which led to a savings of $7.1 million. Many of those initiatives focused on improving quality of care for patients and access to services, including:
- A 33.8 per cent decrease in the 30-day readmission rate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease since 2011-2012.
- A 51 per cent decrease in pressure ulcers since 2012-2013.
- A 50 per cent reduction in readmissions for those patients who participated in the Assess and Restore program since 2013-2014. TSH’s Assess and Restore program supports elderly patients in returning home again by integrating services available at Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association into the patient’s discharge plan before they even leave the hospital.
- Improved access to Endoscopy care, increasing the specialized case completion by 19.6 per cent.
TSH also celebrated many other successes and achievements in 2014-2015, including:
- TSH and the University of Toronto launched the Centre for Integrative Medicine, a joint initiative that will scientifically investigate the use of complementary and Chinese medicine.
- In February 2015, TSH was designated a Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) Centre of Practice by the Ontario Renal Network; becoming just one of two referral centres in the Central East Local Health Integration Network for patients to receive timely PD catheter insertion in order to start home peritoneal dialysis.
- In November 2014 and January 2015, TSH welcomed Physician Assistants to its interprofessional team to further enhance efficiency, patient safety and quality of care for the Scarborough community.
- In November 2014, for the second consecutive year, TSH was awarded a Gold Quality Healthcare Workplace Award from the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the hospital’s efforts to improve the quality of work-life for staff and the care and services delivered to patients.
- TSH welcomed its first babies by water birth in December 2014 (Birchmount campus) and in January 2015 (General campus).
- In September 2014, TSH launched its first Diversity and Inclusion Report, celebrating the hospital’s successes in serving the global community of Scarborough.
“These were significant and positive initiatives for our hospital,” said Robert Biron, President and CEO, TSH. “We are pleased to be able to continue to invest in the future and build upon the remarkable work that has been accomplished.”