It’s been a busy, exciting and, at times, challenging year at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). We’ve built and strengthened relationships with our partners across our region to improve the overall health of our community. We focused on research and innovation to help create an academic health sciences centre that is putting Kingston on the map. With the help of our community, we were able to invest in new technology to further enhance our delivery of patient care.
Reflecting on the past year, none of our achievements would have been made possible without the strength of the people at KHSC.
This year we launched our Transforming care, together strategy. Shaped by more than 2,000 voices from across our community, it is both our bold plan for the future and our commitment to patients, families and each other. Grounded in a commitment to further deepen our culture of quality, continue to make operational improvements, and strengthen our partnerships, our strategy positions us to be responsive to patient needs and nimble within the context of our rapidly changing health care environment. Most importantly, it is also a guide that will help us live our mission and values each and every day.
Our ability to deliver on our strategy is directly linked to the support of our community from across the Southeastern Ontario region. From our volunteers who show up every day to give generously and selflessly of their time to our donors whose generous support allows us to provide patients and their families with innovative and compassionate care that is closer to home: thank you.
Every day our work can be challenging, and every day the KHSC community rises to the occasion, providing the highest-quality care to our patients and their families, as well as each other. While we still have much work to do, we can be proud of our progress this past year. In this year’s annual report, we are putting the spotlight on many of our most notable accomplishments through pictures that transport you inside KHSC where Transforming care, together is brought to life every day.
Our mission at KHSC is to care for our patients, families and each other through every day actions, significant moments and exciting breakthroughs. The stories and accomplishments from this past year show that we are living that mission, and more. Thank you to our entire KHSC community and our partners, donors and supporters across the region for everything you do on a daily basis to help bring this mission to life throughout our organization.
Improve the patient experience through a focus on compassion and excellence
The desire to care for patients, families and one another is what motivates KHSC staff, learners and volunteers to show up every day and go above and beyond for the people we serve. We do this job with care, compassion and respect and this past year was no exception. To help guide us on how we can improve the patient experience, each year we submit a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This plan keeps us focused on specific priorities for improving the quality of care we provide, ensuring that it’s done as safely as possible, all while striving to make the experience for patients and their families better than ever before. This work speaks to the heart of our role as the complex, acute and specialty care provider for the people of Southeastern Ontario, along with our role as a community hospital for the people of Kingston.
For the third year in a row, KHSC was recognized as a high-performer in stroke care, receiving Accreditation Canada’s National Stroke Distinction Award in acute care.
This year a new multidisciplinary KHSC Advanced Care Planning Steering Committee was formed to help ensure that we have a clear and consistent approach to having important advanced care planning conversations with our patients and families.
KHSC was successfully accredited by Accreditation Canada, achieving almost 98 per cent compliance, signaling our success as a newly integrated organization. In announcing its decision, Accreditation Canada praised KHSC’s high level of team engagement, emphasis on partnerships within the health system, unique model of Patient and Family-Centred Care, effective communication tools, highly engaged leadership and success in hospital integration.
This year KHSC and partners hosted the first-ever Serious Illness Town Hall event to help equip and empower patients, caregivers and care providers with the tools to have palliative care discussions.
A new Quality Roadmap was launched this year at KHSC. A multi-year plan, the Quality Roadmap will guide us in embedding quality across our organization and help us with measuring quality improvements.
As a result of feedback, staff in our Diagnostic Imaging department co-designed a new x-ray apron with a patient to help meet the sizing needs of our youngest patients. The result? A first of its kind product that can be used to help children whenever they receive x-rays.
KHSC’s mission to care compassionately for others has translated into a warmer winter for hundreds in our community this year. Staff across KHSC donated hundreds of coats, mittens and socks, helping over 950 in our community have a warmer winter.
Improve the experience of our people through a focus on worklife quality
Research suggests that highly engaged people are inspired to do their very best work. When the workplace is a hospital, the result is better patient outcomes and improved organizational performance. Engagement is driven by fostering a work environment that motivates and cares for employees. The call to improve engagement in the work place is embedded in Accreditation Canada standards, legislation for hospitals and our quest for quality improvement. We are committed to achieving the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Quadruple Aim of improving the individual experience of care; improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare, while fostering joy at work. This year we set the bar high by aiming to have our people be inspired and proud to be a part of the KHSC community. To help make that happen, we focused on recognizing people's achievements, celebrating our people and supporting learning and professional development opportunities to help our staff grow and reach their potential.
KHSC was awarded a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) candidacy period by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Through the multi-year process of becoming a BPSO, nurses and allied health professionals will be armed with industry knowledge that has been proven to support them in their everyday professional practices and that positively impacts the health of patients.
When an incident takes place at one of KHSC’s two hospital sites, often some of the first to arrive on scene are members of our Protection Services team. This past year the Protection Services team was recognized for its work as six staff members received a humanitarian award from G4S Canada.
Four teams across KHSC were recognized this year at the annual Team Awards event for the work they have done to implement initiatives that demonstrate care, knowledge and leadership.
As part of the KHSC strategy roll-out, executives conducted walkabouts with staff across both hospital sites to discuss the new Transforming care, together strategy, chat about how we can bring the values to life and hear from staff on what they would like to see KHSC achieve over the next five years.
To advance the implementation of our French Language Services Plan, KHSC offered French language testing at no charge to staff. Using their conversational French skills is a way our staff members help create a more welcoming environment for Francophones.
Over 20 physicians and nurses were nominated by patients, volunteers and staff for the annual Exceptional Healer award, a patient advisor-led award that honours those who demonstrate the core concepts of patient and family-centred care: dignity and respect, participation, information sharing and collaboration.
Enable clinical innovation in complex-acute and specialty care
Clinical innovation will help us transform complex-acute and specialty care services in response to changes in our health care system and current and projected population health demographics. This will help us to align our resources to meet the needs of patients and families today and into the future, and will help us to prioritize and invest in the cutting edge tools, approaches, partnerships, and services that deliver efficient, effective, and high quality care. This year we dreamed big and took bold steps towards building an innovation portfolio to ensure that there are mechanisms embedded within our structure to foster and support innovation at all levels of the organization.
As part of the KHSC strategy for Transforming Care, together, Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer has been tapped to develop the organization's first innovation portfolio. This portfolio will look to nurture and facilitate innovation that is already in place at KHSC, as well as identify innovation elsewhere in the world and bring it back to Kingston.
Patients undergoing a cardiac procedure at KHSC will now benefit from a new technology, known as the cardiac mapping catheter, that will cut their surgery time in half and help them recover more quickly.
KHSC became the first in North America to offer a unique surgical procedure to treat patients with complex aortic disease. Known as the ‘frozen elephant trunk’ procedure this surgery enables physicians to correct two serious cardiac problems in one surgery.
A new linear accelerator was added to the Cancer Centre to help provide customized care to patients with complex cancers. This newest investment will help care teams better treat small targets and enhance guided radiotherapy.
A first-of-its-kind model of care at KHSC has the potential to be life-changing for individuals with vision loss that is untreatable medically, surgically or with standard eyeglasses. This new initiative integrates vision assessment and rehabilitation services into a regional system of care and can help improve a person’s ability to function independently and participate in society.
A new program out of our Hotel Dieu Hospital site officially launched to restore hearing to many patients who can’t be treated with regular hearing aids. The Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA) program in the Departments of Otolaryngology and Audiology/Speech Language Pathology implants specialized hearing aids for patients who previously had to travel out of our region to receive this service.
Create seamless transitions in care for our patients across our regional health-care system
We work hard to provide excellent inpatient care. However, patients who require different levels of care over an extended period of time in multiple settings often have trouble receiving care across different parts of the health system and at transition points. Communication can be difficult, wait times can be long, and patients and families can feel as if they are 'falling through the cracks' in the system. This year we focused on working with our regional partners to strengthen transitions in care for patients as they move through the health care system.
An innovative program offered by Bayshore HealthCare and that has demonstrated improved outcomes for patients received funding for a second year in a row and enabled KHSC to refer patients transitioning out of hospital and back into their own homes. Known as the Alternative Level of Care (ALC) Transitional Care Unit it helps patients transition out of the hospital to a more appropriate environment.
A Mental Health Nurse Navigator pilot project launched at KHSC to help speed up treatment and reduce wait times for patients with mental health emergencies. As a result, patients are spared a long wait for an ED physician and their care plans are initiated faster.
KHSC was recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for its ‘outstanding Emergency Department performance’ in improving wait times. The decreased wait times are the result of several initiatives geared to improving patient flow in the ED, including the introduction of the Admission Transfer Unit, additional staffing resources dedicated to optimizing bed utilization and the development of a surge protocol to help accommodate patients during peak influenza season.
An innovative clinic for patients of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at KHSC was recognized with an international award for its work in helping patients transition from the ICU back to their homes and community.
This year we worked with our regional partners to establish a pathway and best practice guidelines for patients with a fractured hip as a primary diagnosis. Our aim is to have all patients who present with a hip fracture booked for surgical intervention and receiving treatment within 48 hours.
Maximize our education, research and academic health sciences potential
Building innovative partnerships and pursuing research excellence in collaboration with our partners was a key priority for us this year. Focusing on research and educating the next generation of health care providers ultimately benefits patient care by enhancing the clinical care that we provide. An exciting step this year was the work done to further competency-based medical education (CBME). Each year, KHSC welcomes more than 100 medical residents who spend several years with us, caring for patients at both sites, while completing their training to become full physicians. Last year, together with the Queen's School of Medicine, KHSC implemented the CBME training model. This year we worked together with providers, teachers, and patients to respond to feedback and continuously improve the system. We also conducted innovative research that will change the future of health care and improve patient outcomes.
KHSC physicians partnered in a new multidisciplinary Lyme disease research network based out of Kingston that will bring together scientists, physicians, and patients to further investigate the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the tick-borne illness. This network will look to make an international impact on health outcomes, practice, programs and policy related to Lyme disease.
New research out of KHSC is offering intriguing insights into the kidney-brain connection that could change the way that kidney disease is assessed and treated in the future. This research could provide new insights on treating patients or point to the need for end-of-life conversations.
A new study out of KHSC has shown that people who experience major injuries have a much higher risk of being admitted to hospital for mental health disorders. As a result, work is underway to help develop a more inclusive trauma system that provides the mental health supports patients need.
KHSC was again this year named one of the ‘Top 40’ research hospitals in the country. KHSC is home to 350 researchers who are currently involved in 700 research projects.
KHSC and Queen’s University became the first in North America to implement a competency-based medical education model across all 29 specialty programs. A new online evaluation portal provides residents with feedback on a regular basis from the entire care team.
Neurosurgeon Dr. DJ Cook was named to this year’s list of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. Dr. Cook was recognized for his work in developing minimally invasive surgical procedures for complex brain disorders, as well for his innovative research focusing on therapy and treatments to enhance recovery for patients who have suffered a stroke.
Contribute to and support a high-performing regional health-care system with our partners
Creating a high performing health care system is a team sport that requires us to work closely with our health care, social service and academic partners across the region. This past year, we started a dynamic conversation with our partners as we created and launched our bold new strategy for Transforming care, together and already we are seeing the results. We are working towards integrating all parts of our health care system, participating in dynamic partnerships that improve patient care, and realizing our academic potential as we strive to make the whole community healthier and build a health sciences centre of which our community can be proud.
This year saw the launch of construction for a second MRI scanner at KHSC. At any one time in our region, 850 to 1,000 people from across our region are waiting to be booked for a hospital MRI scan. The installation of a second MRI scanner will help make these wait times more manageable for patients and their families.
A partnership between KHSC health care providers and a local school board launched this year to help youth cope with their mental health concerns. Through the LINKS program students have the opportunity to work with KHSC staff who can help them learn coping skills to manage their feelings of worry, sadness and anger.
A new pilot project helped support increased patient visits to KHSC during Homecoming weekend. A new overflow area was created to help ensure that patients from across the region could continue to access care during a historically busy period.
Last year KHSC became one integrated organization, bringing together the Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital sites. To help shape the vision for our new health sciences centre, everyone who works, learns, volunteers, partners with and receives care at KHSC was challenged to dream big and help map out what the future of KHSC could be. This year, an exciting milestone of integration was reached with the creation of our Transforming care, together strategy.
A new eReferral system for home care referrals was put in place, replacing the paper-based patient referral process. This electronic solution will allow patients to be discharged home faster as information will be more complete and accurate because of better coordination between home care and KHSC.
This year the physician ranks at KHSC grew following the completion of a successful recruitment campaign aimed at bringing new and highly trained doctors to the region. The new recruits come from locations across Canada and around the globe.
A massive reconstruction effort is underway to replace four current buildings at the KGH site with a new, state-of-the art patient tower that will be home to new Clinical Laboratories, Operating Suites, Emergency Department and ambulance bays, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a Maternal and Child Health Unit. This year, members of the KGH Auxiliary announced a $2.5 million pledge to University Hospitals Kingston Foundation for the next phase of redevelopment.
Stay Connected with KHSC
We invite you to stay connected with us so you can keep track of the exciting things happening at Kingston Health Sciences Centre. You can read all of our most recent news on our website or engage with us on social media by following our accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
If you would like to ask us a question or share a comment, simply click here.
Financial and Performance Reports
To learn more about our performance over the past year, you can also click on the following links to check out our latest Strategy Performance and Quality Improvement Plan reports, Management Discussion and Analysis document and our audited financial statements.