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Highlights from the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Trust's 87th AGM

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Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH) Board of Directors held its 87th Annual Meeting of the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Trust to receive annual reports, financial statements and professional staff by-law amendments on Tuesday, June 24.

Duaine Nelson, TDMH Board Chair, Crystal Houze, Integrated President and CEO, and Dr. Barry Roth, TDMH Chief of Staff, and others, reflected on the accomplishments of TDMH for the 2013-14 fiscal year and acknowledged that the work at TDMH over the past year has been fast-paced and has included many exciting initiatives as well as some challenges.

Highlights included:

• In September of last year, Crystal Houze, Integrated President and CEO, welcomed the AHI/TDMH Integrated Leadership Team. In a media release, Houze thanked the Integrated Team for its leadership, dedication and commitment to the hospitals, "as well as its insight into the complexities of our healthcare system.”

• TDMH continues to support physician recruitment strategies and will continue to develop a comprehensive Medical Human Resource Plan to support the physician resource requirements over the next 5-10 years. Over the past year, TDMH has welcomed three new Family Medicine/ER physicians to bolster the existing pool of physicians.

• In September 2013, TDMH had two Accreditation Surveyors conduct an intensive review of documentation as well as on-site interviews with team members, board members, physicians, patients and community partners. TDMH met or exceeded 97.8 per cent of the 1,550 standards associated with the quality, safety and performance and received Accreditation with Commendation.

In its written decision, the Accreditation Decision Committee congratulated TDMH and stated, “It is evident that the organization places high value on safe patient care and works hard to ensure that quality and patient safety remain their priority… Patients, clients and families report an extremely high level of satisfaction with TDMH.”

• Integration continues to be a focus for hospitals and AHI and TDMH continue to work through the transformational change that is occurring within the healthcare system. The three Oxford hospitals have been working collaboratively through the Oxford hospitals' Joint Services Plan (OHJSP) process to ensure that county residents continue to have access to quality health services as close to home as possible.

“Much of the past year has been devoted to the hospitals’ participation in the Integration Project and the hospitals will continue to work together to accomplish a seamless system for the care of the patients we serve as well as the needs of the community,” stated Dr. Barry Roth, Chief of Staff in the media release.

The OHJSP Final Report was recently released and its recommendations affecting TDMH reflect the changing face of healthcare delivery. TDMH will close six of the 16 continuing care beds as of January 2015. These beds were not being utilized due to the success of the Home First Program, which has resulted in patients going home sooner with appropriate care. Secondly, the OHJSP Final Report recommends that TDMH become a Centre of Excellence for Endoscopy. Establishing TDMH as a Centre of Excellence for Endoscopy sets the groundwork to increase volumes, which will lead to enhanced services and more efficiencies.

“This is one example of centralizing quality healthcare in order to service the needs of our community,” stated Houze. “TDMH plans to bring this Centre of Excellence to fruition by the fall of 2014.”

• Collaboration and partnerships between AHI and TDMH continue. Through this relationship, as well as the formal Joint Venture Agreement, the hospitals are functioning jointly on common initiatives including governance. AHI and TDMH are implementing a Joint Board initiative this fall.

“The Joint Board initiative will enable both organizations to preserve their independent corporations while, at the same time, function collaboratively at a governance level through a formal agreement," noted Duaine Nelson, TDMH Board Chair.

• The SW LHIN has approved TDMH’s proposal for a formal three-bed Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) within the Emergency Department, effective July 1, 2014. The mission of the CDU is to improve and expedite the management of patients with medical conditions requiring inpatient treatment, but whose care can be completed within 24 hours or less, on average.

“It is anticipated that the implementation of the CDU will positively affect quality of care, length of stay and wait times in the TDMH Emergency Department,” stated Dr. Roth.

• In collaboration with the Thames Valley Hospital Planning Partnership, TDMH launched the Healthcare Undergoing Optimization (HUGO) Project, an electronic health records program, in January 2014. The mandate of the project was to implement a fully Electronic Patient Record (EPR) to enhance quality and patient safety by maximizing the power of the Cerner System. The initiative is an important milestone to ensure TDMH continually advances the quality of healthcare it provides utilizing information technology.

“Again, it is the ongoing commitment of our team members and physicians that will ensure that this new technology allows us to deliver more advanced and safer healthcare,” stated Houze.

• The yearly Hospitals Services Accountability Agreement (H-SAA) with the SW LHIN requires that all hospitals have a balanced budget. The TDMH 2013-14 audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2014 shows an operating surplus of $585,064.

“These milestones could not have been realized without the dedicated and skilled Integrated Leadership Team, physicians, team members and responsive partners,” noted Nelson.

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