It has been another exemplary year at Niagara Health.
As 2019 comes to a close, and we eagerly look forward to 2020, we are taking time to reflect on some of our memorable moments over the past year. Of course, we are most proud of our staff and physicians’ commitment to providing patients with high quality, safe care.
From an organizational perspective, we are also making important progress, guided by our 10-Year Strategic Plan. It is the roadmap on our journey towards a healthier Niagara. We are now in year four of the plan and a number of our proud moments relate directly to our strategic initiatives.
We know we are stronger when we work together. These accomplishments are possible through the dedication, skills, and expertise of our staff, physicians, students and volunteers. Our partnerships with patients, their families, and many other organizations in Niagara and beyond also help create the positive momentum Niagara Health is experiencing.
Accreditation reaches an exemplary conclusion
Naturally, our successful accreditation is a point of tremendous pride for everyone associated with Niagara Health. Once again, we were accredited with exemplary standing – the highest possible accreditation result. Achieving this distinction for the second consecutive time demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality, safe care to our patients and their families. Read the full story.
Dedicated and compassionate teams
For the second straight year, Niagara Health was selected as one of Hamilton-Niagara's Top Employers. Our Acts of Kindness Workplace Challenge has been growing ever since its launch in 2017. We are closing the year with 36 departments performing 35,000 acts of kindness. The initiative was started by our Information and Communications Technology team as a way to connect with our CORE value of Compassion in Action. We give back to the community by participating in a number of annual fundraisers including Niagara Health Foundation events, Rankin Cancer Run, our United Way Workplace Campaign and holiday toy and food drives.
Welcoming Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
The Honourable Christine Elliott, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, visited our St. Catharines Site to announce $175 million in funding for Ontario hospital infrastructure upgrades and repairs, including nearly $1.7 million for Niagara Health. We are grateful to the Ontario Government for making strategic investments in Niagara that will improve healthcare in our region. Learn more.
Leading the way in quality and safety
Niagara Health's commitment to provide extraordinary caring to every person, every time received national attention, demonstrating our leadership in creating a positive change in quality and safety. We were recognized with 17 Leading Practices from the Health Standards Organization that hospitals around the world can use to make quality and safety improvements in their organization.
We launched the Niagara Health Engagement Network, which is deeply rooted in our commitment to create meaningful and authentic partnerships with patients, families and community members to enhance the quality of care and overall experience of the people we serve. There are more than 40 Patient Partners who share their time, experiences and perspectives to help make improvements in the care experience. Some of the initiatives they have worked on include our new Patient and Family Declaration of Values and our refreshed Integrated Quality and Safety Framework.
Improving access to mental health and addictions
This year, we came together under one roof with Canadian Mental Health Association Niagara to improve care and better connect clients to mental health and addictions programs and help clients more easily navigate the system. The purposely renovated space on Welland Avenue in St. Catharines, which opened in April, is brighter and larger and provides a safer environment and fully accessible programs and services.
South Niagara Hospital Project
Planning and design for the new South Niagara Hospital in Niagara Falls are well underway. This project will have a profound impact on patient care in Niagara – it will support our work to reduce wait times and provide enhanced experiences for patients, families and caregivers.
Niagara Ontario Health Team – Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara
We are working together with local healthcare providers to deliver more integrated and connected care, and enhance the patient/client, family and caregiver experience, through the Niagara Ontario Health Team – Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara (NOHT-ESON).
Pioneering new ways of providing care
We were one of the first hospitals in Ontario to introduce an at-home dialysis system that enhances patient experiences, reduces hospital visits for patients and allows providers to monitor treatments remotely. In some cases, it reduces patients' hospital visits to once a month from three times a week. Niagara Health was also the first Ontario hospital to introduce video technology – pediatric tele-resuscitation – allowing our emergency teams to partner with McMaster Children's Hospital to get immediate help for our youngest patients.
Technological innovation to improve patient care
We launched the first release of the Niagara Health Navigator digital platform, a significant step in revolutionizing the way patients connect to healthcare information and their care providers. Nearly 2,500 people have downloaded the app and provided feedback that will inform future releases. This is just the beginning – we look forward to sharing new and exciting features in 2020.
Research and academics
A Niagara Health physician is leading the launch of a new national network to support the growth of research in Intensive Care Units in community hospitals in Canada. “Research has a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of the people who live in our communities. Health research provides important information about disease trends and risk factors, outcomes of treatment and patterns of care, to name a few," says Dr. Jennifer Tsang.
We continue to work with over 90 academic partners to provide learning and education opportunities in a number of healthcare-related fields. This year we launched a new partnership with Brock University to increase opportunities to improve the overall health and well-being in our region and beyond.