April 12, 2017

HealthPRO Member Hospitals Host Annual Healthcare Innovation Expo

On April 5, 2017, six of HealthPRO’s member hospitals hosted InnovationEX 2017, an annual event focused on collaboration and sharing to improve quality, safety and performance in healthcare.

Undertaken by the Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation, comprised of Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH), Mackenzie Health, Michael Garron Hospital, North York General Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto, InnovationEX was well attended, welcoming visitors from across the Greater Toronto Area.

Held at MSH for the second time since the expo’s launch in 2014, representatives from each participating hospital hosted an exhibit specific to their projects, and were later welcomed to the stage by Jo-anne Marr, President and Chief Executive Officer, MSH, to present a brief synopsis of their respective initiatives.

Dr. Joshua Tepper, President and CEO of Health Quality Ontario (HQO) also shared some thoughts with the crowd, congratulating the hospitals for their work and challenging everyone in healthcare to ensure patients are involved in projects from their very inception to the end.

“How many of our projects are done with patients involved from the beginning?” asked Dr. Tepper. “We need to imagine a time when patients will be part of the entire process.”

Dr. Tepper also underscored the biggest challenge—taking what has proven to work and applying it across other locations. “We need to ensure our success is everyone’s success.”

  An overview of all the projects presented at InnovationEX can be found below. 

Markham Stouffville Hospital

  • DASH MD – an app piloted at Markham Stouffville – helps patients with their aftercare upon discharge. Rather than giving patients many pieces of paper on what to do when they get home, they can download the free app and have all the relevant information at their fingertips.
  • MSH also piloted a technology platform called Colleaga to accelerate innovation and facilitate collaboration between departments. The program enables crowdsourcing of ideas on a number of issues including clinical engagement.

Southlake Regional Health Centre

  • The Preoperative Clinic Passport, developed by Southlake Regional Health Centre, was created to better inform patients of the steps they can expect prior to surgery. Used during the preoperative clinic visit, patients answer a series of “yes” or “no” questions pertaining to their understanding what is required prior to surgery.  If a “no” answer is provided, the clinical team can revisit that topic with the patient.
  • Eliminating Never Events, e.g., wrong-site surgery, is a goal of the Southlake Regional Health Centre. The new model also includes Always Events, i.e., the protocol to prevent a Never Event, Current Events, i.e., procedures to ensure compliance with the Always Events, and Learning Events, i.e., sharing what has been learned.


Michael Garron Hospital

  • Polypharmacy – the use of four or more medications – is an issue common among the senior population. Through the use of a pilot study, Michael Garron Hospital endeavoured to determine the feasibility of implementing a deprescribing program. Findings indicated that patients had a reduction of 2.5 medications with no increases in 30-day readmissions and no significant harm reported.
  • At Michael Garron Hospital, the flow of patients from the operating room to the recovery room can outstrip the number of beds available resulting in delays or cancellations of procedures. To better manage this, staff developed an app to predict what resources would be needed and when. The app will be piloted for two months starting June 2017.

Mackenzie Health

  • It Takes Two aims to ensure that patients are correctly identified at every interaction so they receive the right care. To do this, two pieces of identification are used: home address, a recent photograph, date of birth, full name or hospital identification number.  
  • Mackenzie Health also showcased a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. It will be paperless, enable real-time documentation and allow for the sharing of information across the continuum of care. The new EMR goes live on July 8, 2017.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre

  • To ensure patients do not get sick with a super bug such as Parbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), St. Joseph’s Health Centre developed a CPE discharge process checklist. Comprising eight steps with action items, it notes who is responsible for each step.
  • St. Joseph’s Health Centre endeavoured to determine whether emergency department wait times could be reduced for ambulatory patients. Through Supertrack, tasks such as nurse and physician assessments have been combined. With this change and others, wait times have gone from seven hours to 1.5 hours.

North York General Hospital

  • North York General developed hybrid electronic boards as the paper-based boards were not used regularly. The new electronic boards are customized to each unit to ensure that the most current safety and quality data specific to the unit can be shared with the unit staff.
  • To solve complex challenges for which traditional design approaches do not work, North York General also created a toolbox containing multiple design methodologies. This enables staff to provide the best possible patient- and family centred-care while creating a high-quality organization.

About The Joint Centres Transformative Healthcare Innovation
The Joint Centres for Transformative Healthcare Innovation is a partnership between large community hospitals with a goal of sharing innovations focused on improving quality and value in healthcare.

As a platform for innovation and collaboration, the Joint Centres is guided by four strategic directions:

  • seek and share innovative ideas that improve service delivery and/or value across the system
  • serve as a living laboratory to demonstrate innovation
  • provide a forum for the rapid execution of new ideas, technologies, products and processes to improve system performance
  • create opportunities for shared innovation, learning, and knowledge transfer among the member organizations, their staff and physicians