St. Michael’s sets quality improvement priorities for 2015-16

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St. Michael’s sets quality improvement priorities for 2015-16

Toronto, April 1, 2015

By Emily Holton

Images of warning signs about falls, handwashing, medications and smooth transitions
Download a one-page summary of St. Michael’s quality and safety priorities for 2015-16

Every year, St. Michael’s plans new projects and changes to improve the quality and safety of our care. Building on successes and learnings from last year, our 2015-16 Quality Improvement Plan focuses on four main areas: preventing falls, getting the best possible medication histories for our patients, ensuring that our staff wash their hands frequently and helping our patients make smoother transitions from one stage of care to the next. Along with all Ontario hospitals, we post the full report and appendices publicly and share them with the province.

Learn more about our four focus areas below.

Preventing falls: A bad fall in hospital can lead to many problems and a longer stay. As your care team gets to know you, they will talk to you and watch for signs to assess your risk of falling. If you are at risk, your care team can help keep you safe when you need to get out of bed and move around the hospital.

This year, we’re making sure that your level of risk is noted in your health record. That way, our doctors and staff will all know to do their part to protect you from falling.

Hand washing: It’s the hospital’s job to make sure you are protected from infection and viruses. Hospital auditors carefully watch staff and doctors to make sure everyone washes their hands properly. The goal is to wash hands before and after touching a patient or the objects around patients, every time.

This year, we’re providing more education and feedback to units that need to improve their hand-washing rates. We’re also helping doctors and staff find new ways to add correct hand washing into their daily tasks.

Right medications: To keep you safe as you move through the hospital, all our different units need a full list of the medications you are taking – in hospital and at home. Your family doctor also needs to know if medications were added or changed during your hospital stay.

Last year, we tested a new tool to help our doctors and staff make detailed medication lists and store them in patients’ health records.

The tool worked well, so this year we’ll try it out in more areas of the hospital.

Smoother transitions: We hear you: sometimes, your waits are too long. Whether you’re in the Emergency Department waiting for an inpatient bed, or in an inpatient bed waiting to be discharged, faster and more efficient transitions are the best thing for you, the hospital and the health care system.

We’re helping our units plan ahead to prepare inpatients, families and community supports for the next stage in the patient’s journey. If you’re an inpatient, this will help make sure you can leave the hospital as soon as you’re ready. If you’re in the Emergency Department, this will speed up your transition to an inpatient bed.

To learn more, visit If you have questions or feedback about quality improvement activities at St. Michael’s, please contact us at

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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