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St. Mary's Ranks as Safest Hospital in Canada

St. Mary’s Ranks as Safest Hospital In Canada

November 30th, 2016 

Click here for a Waterloo Regional Record story on this achievement.

Click here for a 570 News story on this achievement.

November 30, 2016 (Kitchener) – For the second time in five years, St. Mary’s General Hospital has the lowest Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) of acute care hospitals in Canada, a key indicator of hospital safety.

This achievement was recognized with today’s release by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) of three performance indicators for 2015-16: HSMR; total time spent in the emergency department (ED) for admitted patients; and emergency wait times for Physician Initial Assessment. HSMR measures expected deaths versus actual deaths in acute care hospitals, with a ratio lower than 100 indicating fewer than expected deaths. St. Mary’s score was 67.

“To have the top HSMR in the country twice in five years reaffirms our vision to be the safest and most effective hospital in Canada,” says St. Mary’s President Don Shilton. “Through rigorous application of Lean thinking across our organization, front-line staff, physicians and managers work together to deliver safer, higher quality care for our patients.”

“We congratulate Grand River Hospital on having an HSMR score in the top ten in Canada for three consecutive years,” added Mr. Shilton. “Patients in Kitchener-Waterloo can have confidence that no matter which hospital they go to, their care will be amongst the best in Canada.”

Over the last few years the use of Lean tools at St. Mary’s has contributed to:

•    50 per cent fewer inpatient falls
•    30 percent fewer days patients are on ventilator
•    An increase to 94 per cent of lab tests in the ED being completed in 45 minutes, up from 82 per cent
In the current year so far we have achieved:
•    A greater than 50 per cent reduction in cases of hospital acquired C. difficile infection and Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

Indicator 2014-15 2015-16
Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) 82 67
Total time spent in emergency department
(admitted patients, 90th percentile)
22.3 23.2
Emergency wait time for Physician Initial Assessment (90th percentile) 3.6 4.0

While ED wait times increased slightly at St. Mary’s year over year, the hospital also saw 3,358 more patient visits (6.7% increase) in the ED in 2015-16 than were seen in 2014-15.

Despite the increases in volumes, the ED has implemented a number of strategies to reduce wait times. Inpatient beds have been realigned so more beds are available for emergency patients, and ED physicians and resource nurses receive hourly electronic patient flow data which shows when inpatient beds will be available so timely transfer can occur. A second triage nurse was recently added in the ED so two patients can be triaged at once during times of peak demand. Physician and nurse shifts have also been realigned to match the highest volume times.

“Despite the rising demand for our services we’re very pleased to have achieved a top score for patient safety,” says Mr. Shilton. “With the help of Lean tools we have developed a culture of problem-solvers who are constantly finding opportunities to provide safer and more effective care for our patients.”