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Capital Health, North York General, win awards

SASKATOON – North York General Hospital, based in Toronto, and Capital Health, with headquarters in Edmonton, were selected as the winners of the annual 3M Healthcare Quality Team Awards at a meeting in Saskatoon earlier this month.

The announcement was made at the National Healthcare Leadership Conference (NHLC), which was hosted by the Canadian College of Health Service Executives (CCHSE) and the Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA). CHSE and CHA selected the winners based on their innovation in healthcare services linking two important concepts: quality and team work.

• North York General Hospital won the Programs and Processes in the Acute Care Hospital Environment category for “Patient Flow: Improving the Patient Experience.”

North York General Hospital (NYGH) is a multi-site community teaching hospital located in north Toronto. Like many organizations, NYGH has been faced with the challenge of meeting ever-increasing community demands for care and service without significantly increasing resources.

Improving patient flow through a hospital increases patient safety, positively impacts the patient’s experience and improves staff satisfaction. Moreover, efficient flow of admitted patients from the Emergency Department (ED) to an inpatient bed is essential in order to improve overall access to care. To improve flow through the acute care setting culture and infrastructure must support working across traditional department/unit barriers to develop an overall system of flow.

NYGH’s leadership acknowledged that lasting and meaningful changes could not take place and be sustained in any area of the organization without an overarching culture. The leadership culture transformation provided the fabric into which the ‘Lean’ philosophy was woven resulting in organizational caring, capacity and commitment for improved patient flow.

To understand and improve patient flow, input, throughput and output must be examined. Improvement initiatives generated/implemented in silos (e.g. a single unit) lack sustainability and can result in unintentional consequences for patient flow in other areas. Flow consists of entry points (input), points of care (throughput), and discharge points (output), so improving patient flow cannot be limited to one area. Four major areas were identified where flow needed to be addressed: within the ED, between ED and General Internal Medicine (GIM), within GIM, and between GIM and the community.

• Capital Health, based in Edmonton, received the award for Programs and Processes in a Non-acute Care Hospital Environment for its program, “Implementation of Supportive Living Integrated Standards.” This is the first year either hospital received a 3M Healthcare Quality Team Award.

Alberta’s Capital Health region has identified a rapidly expanding need for supportive living services. The community care services supportive living quality initiatives team addressed the issue of fragmented standards by conducting a quality improvement project with four primary goals.

The first goal was to consolidate nine different sets of standards into one that would be applicable to all Capital Health supportive living contracted operators. The second goal was to develop and implement a consistent monitoring system for standard adherence. The third goal was to facilitate an increased capacity for the contracted operators to meet and/or exceed the expectations identified in the standards. Finally, the fourth goal was that clients in the supportive living options would know what they could expect in terms of their care provision.

The team included staff with specific competencies in the areas of standard development and program evaluation. The supportive living integrated standards and new methods of standard monitoring were introduced that included mechanisms for resident and staff feedback with every quality review/inspection.

Education was provided to contracted operators to ensure a consistent and thorough understanding and implementation of the standards. The project has demonstrated positive results in the areas of increased standard adherence and an increased number of contracted operators being able to exceed baseline expectations.

3M Canada donates a financial contribution to the winning facilities and sponsors six people from each group to attend the leadership conference. Since 1994, when the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and 3M Healthcare launched the 3M Healthcare Quality Team Awards to encourage and recognize innovation in health services, 28 hospitals have benefited.

3M Healthcare, CCHSE and CHA extend their congratulations to the winners and commend all teams who submitted initiatives for consideration. For more information, including entry forms for next year’s 3M Healthcare Quality Team Awards, visit

About Canadian College of Heath Service Executives
Founded in 1970, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives (CCHSE) is a national, non-profit, professional association dedicated to developing, promoting, advancing and recognizing excellence in health leadership. Our 3,000 individual and 70 corporate members work in all health sectors across the country. The College plays an active role in the helping Canada’s health leaders improve the healthcare system.

About 3M Canada Company
Established in 1951, 3M Canada Company was one of the first international subsidiaries opened by 3M and remains one of the largest. 3M Canada’s head office and original manufacturing site is in London, Ontario where approximately 1,000 of the company’s 1,950 employees work. Other Ontario plants are located in Toronto, Brockville, and Perth with one in Morden, Manitoba. Sales offices are located in major cities nationwide and a national service network supports customers. For more information see: