AGH reports on progress at June 2 Annual General Meeting

Almonte General Hospital (AGH) has selected a vendor for its first Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and will announce an implementation plan soon, AGH President & CEO Mary Wilson Trider reported at the Hospital’s 52nd Annual General Meeting on June 2, 2014.

“With thanks to the provincial government’s Small, Rural and Northern Hospital Transformation Fund, a comprehensive procurement process was undertaken,” Mrs. Trider said. “I am pleased to report that Cerner Corporation has been chosen as our EMR provider.”

Because AGH is a small hospital, Mrs. Trider said it makes sense to partner with another organization to undertake such a large implementation. “Partnership discussions are underway and we hope it won’t be too long before we are able to announce our implementation plan,” she added.

Guest speaker at the AGM was Ray Hession, who chairs the Board of eHealth Ontario, the organization that helps physicians and health care providers establish and maintain electronic health records.

Mrs. Trider said the Transformation Fund also permitted AGH to modernize its pharmacy operations and drug distribution, and supported the creation of an online course repository that will be shared by the eight hospitals in the Champlain Alliance of Small Hospitals, the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team, the Community Care Access Centre, and others.

“Transformation funding has also facilitated the adoption of Home First, a client-centred philosophy focused on supporting people in the community, rather than in hospital or long-term care,” said Mrs. Trider.

In 2013-14, AGH met its Quality Improvement Plan targets for medication reconciliation, patient falls in the complex continuing care unit, length-of-stay management and all the Hospital Service Accountability Agreement targets for emergency department wait times. “Once again, there were no hospital-acquired cases of VRE, MRSA or C. difficile,” Mrs. Trider said.

AGH, Fairview Manor (FVM) and the Lanark County Paramedic Service (LCPS) continued to receive high satisfaction ratings during the year.

“A highlight of the year was the May 1 announcement of the National Research Corporation Canada patient satisfaction results, which ranked maternity care at AGH as #1 in Ontario by patients asked to rate the overall care they received at the hospital,” Mrs. Trider said. “AGH’s maternity care was ranked #1 in Ontario by patients asked if they would recommend the hospital to family or friends and AGH’s emergency care was ranked #1 among small hospitals by patients asked if they would recommend the hospital.”

The LCPS underwent the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care’s ambulance service review in February, successfully met the standards required for accreditation and was awarded another three-year licence to operate. Paramedics responded to more than 16,000 calls across Lanark County in 2013-14 and received a 96 per cent positive rating from patients.

Fairview Manor met or exceeded Health Quality Ontario (HQO) provincial averages on all four publicly reported indicators of long-term care quality and exceeded three of the four aspirational targets set by HQO’s expert panel. “I am also pleased to report that 100 per cent of residents and 100 per cent of family members who completed this year’s satisfaction surveys answered ‘yes’ when asked whether they would recommend Fairview Manor to family and friends,” Mrs. Trider said.

In 2013-14, AGH had more than 15,200 emergency department visits, 9,200 days of care in the Rosamond Unit, 561 discharges from the Medical-Surgical Unit, nearly 1,000 surgical procedures, almost 11,600 diagnostic imaging procedures, 1,733 visits to Day Hospital and 396 births.

Fairview Manor provided 40,170 days of care in its 111 residential beds and 198 days of care in the respite bed.

AGH Board Chair Paul Virgin provided an update on the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, including measures taken to: maintain and strengthen the obstetrical and emergency departments; identify appropriate clinical services that AGH could deliver as a satellite site; enhance access to services for aging and end-of-life patients; and identify revenue opportunities.

AGH Chief of Staff Dr. Michael Dolan reported on changes to the medical staff over the year and on efforts to recruit a new Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He also reported that Dr. Enobong Ekong performed AGH’s first total laparoscopic hysterectomy. “More are planned for the future,” Dr. Dolan said. “Minimally invasive surgeries such as this are rapidly becoming the preferred method in suitable candidates.”

Cheryl Barr, who chairs the Volunteer Services Committee, reported that the 208 adult volunteers, junior volunteers, casual volunteers, members of the AGH Board of Directors and AGH/FVM Foundation Board of Directors, and Foundation volunteers contributed more than 13,400 hours in 2013-14.

Mrs. Trider and Mr. Virgin thanked the staff, medical staff, volunteers and Board members who contributed to the success of AGH, FVM and LCPS. They also thanked the supporters of the AGH/FVM Foundation, which funded $339,000 in capital equipment for the Hospital and Manor in 2013-14.

“We would also like to thank our community for its support and our patients, residents and family members who completed surveys or shared their thoughts and experiences,” Mrs. Trider added. “It is wonderful to receive compliments and equally important to hear about concerns so that we can improve.”

They also recognized the contributions of Susan Muston and Sue Hamilton, who are leaving the AGH Board of Directors. Dr. Thomas Todd, who has completed his nine-year term on the Board, has been appointed an Honourary Director so he can continue to serve as Past Chair. Dr. Heather Abramenko stepped down from her role as President of the Medical Staff Association to become Chief of Perioperative Medicine.

Newly elected Directors for 2014-15 are Louise Heslop, Randy Larkin and Michael Leonard. Returning to the Board as elected Directors are Rod Hall, Cindy Hobbs, Cathy Huffman, Mark MacGowan, Betty Preston, Rhonda Tees (Vice Chair) and Paul Virgin (Chair). Non-voting directors are: Dr. Melissa Forbes, President, Medical Staff Association; Dr. Michael Dolan, Chief of Staff; Heather Garnett, Vice President Patient & Resident Services and Chief Nursing Officer; and Mary Wilson Trider.