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Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 10:31 PM
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London hospitals top OHA ranking

Tue, August 28, 2007

St. Joe's and LHSC were first and second in the province for patient satisfaction.


London's hospitals have landed a satisfying one-two punch in patient care.

The city's two hospitals finished first and second in overall patient satisfaction when compared to Ontario's other 10 large, acute-care hospitals, according to an annual report card from the province.

St. Joseph's Health Care London earned the highest mark for the second year in a row. London Health Sciences Centre scored second.

"I think it is quite remarkable St. Joseph's should come out on top again and the next hospital to score highest was London Health Sciences," said Cliff Nordal, president of both hospitals.

"It is an acknowledgement of the staff and the physicians and their dedication to the patients we serve."

The two hospitals scored the highest marks in the overall impression patients had of their hospital experience.

St. Joseph's also scored highest marks in three other areas evaluating patient satisfaction: how well staff communicated with them; whether they were treated with dignity; whether they received the care they felt they needed.

The 2007 report on acute care hospitals in Ontario, prepared by the province and Ontario Hospital Association, examined 40 indicators including patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, quality control and financial performance.

The comparisons suggest some areas for improvement in London, Nordal said.

For example, LHSC scored low in financial performance.

But the report card covered a period when LHSC was struggling with several financial issues, such as its debt for a controversial energy-from-waste plant, Nordal said.

"There was nothing (in the report) that surprised us," Nordal said.

In February, the province gave LHSC about $64 million to ease its financial woes.

"We expect next year things will show improvement," Nordal said.

Under the clinical outcomes category, the two London hospitals scored at or above average compared to the other large teaching hospitals.

But the report also shows LHSC has a "slightly higher rate" of pneumonia and bedsores in patients after they are admitted.

"This would be an area the hospital would like to target," Nordal said.

Twenty-six out of more than 1,500 patients got pneumonia or bedsores after being admitted, Nordal said.

"When we see something where we aren't performing as well as others, we want to ask, 'Why would that happen and might there be something we can do about it?' "

A change in practices might improve the mark for next year, Nordal said.

A separate category examined how parents viewed the pediatric care their children received.

LHSC scored average marks for pediatric care, with Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto leading the nine hospitals in the category.

The province also released reports on rehabilitation and emergency care.

St. Joseph's earned among the highest marks in the province for patient satisfaction in rehabilitation.

"That is great to see," Nordal said.

LHSC wasn't ranked because it does not offer that service.

Both hospitals received average marks in emergency care.

"We were not surprised by that," Nordal said.

The comparison was done just after the emergency departments in London were moved and as the kinks were being ironed out, Nordal said.

"Staying average, in my view, is good."

Patient satisfaction at Ontario's teaching hospitals

Overall patient satisfaction at area small hospitals-

Overall patient satisfaction at area community hospitals-

Provincial average: 85.3

St. Joseph's Health Care London 88.6

London Health Sciences Centre 87.8

The Ottawa Hospital 85.7

Kingston General Hospital 85.2

St. Joseph's Health Care, Hamilton 85.1

University Health Network, Toronto 85.0

St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto 84.9

Hamilton Health Sciences Corp. 84.6

Sudbury Regional Hospital 84.6

Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto 84.5

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre 84.0

Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto 83.9

Provincial average 89.1

Alexandra Hospital 89.2

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, Goderich 86.3

South Huron Hospital Exeter supplied no response

-Fewer than 2,700 cases a year

Provincial average 82.8

South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Kincardine 89.1

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, Stratford 89.0

Leamington District Memorial Hospital 87.2

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance 86.3

Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital 86.1

St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital 85.2

Woodstock General Hospital 84.4

Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital 84.2

Bluewater Health, Sarnia 82.9

-Hospitals with more than 2,700 cases a year, but not teaching hospitals
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Old Posted Sep 1, 2007, 4:24 AM
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$200 million for London hospital projects

$200 million for London hospital projects

Fri, August 31, 2007

New children's hospital, women's care centre to be built


A massive hospital building project in London got long awaited approval yesterday to wrap up the bulk of the work, worth an estimated $200 million.

The province announced London hospitals can take bids on completion of a new children’s hospital and women’s care centre at Victoria Hospital and the final renovations at St. Joseph’s and University hospitals.

When that work is done, the aging South Street hospital can be closed.

“This is a very, very important milestone for the London hospitals and one that we have been waiting for quite some time,” Cliff Nordal, president of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, said yesterday.

“This is the biggest piece of the project to happen. When this is finished, we move the staff and patients (from South Street) and we lock the doors. That has been an ideal talked about in this community for . . . a long time.”

The bids should be received this fall and work should begin next year, hospital and government officials said yesterday.

“This is a huge step,” said Chris Bentley, Liberal MPP for London West. “They don’t want me to throw out a number but . . . I suspect you are going to need upwards of $100 million and if someone said $200 million you might be in there.”

The first plans to restructure and merge London’s hospitals surfaced in the mid-90s, as the provincial government began retooling health care and insisting communities eliminate duplication at hospitals.

For the next 12 years, the restructuring and merging of facilities run by London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London took place in fits and starts, with some deadlines — such as the expected closing of South Street in 2000, missed.

Symbolic of the amount of work still to be done is the empty 10-storey north tower at Victoria Hospital, where yesterday’s announcement took place.

“When this project is complete, this doorway will open into one of the most exciting new health-care facilities in Canada,” said Peter Johnson, vice-chair of the LHSC board. Besides the new home of the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, the tower will house a new birthing centre, neonatal intensive care unit and outpatient mental health care.

It will also house diagnostic labs, teaching facilities and a 350-seat auditorium.

The final phase of work at St. Joseph’s Health Care will see a 112,000-square-foot renovation and a 4,000-square-foot addition that will provide space for citywide opthamology services, diabetes, and ear, nose and throat services.

“This will provide much needed clinical space,” said Gerald Killan, vice-chair of St. Joseph’s Health Care board.

In an interview after the announcement, Bentley said the timing of the approval was not connected to the Oct. 10 provincial election.

Over the past three years, the province has changed its funding and bidding processes, reduced the share communities have to raise and given money for hospital construction, Bentley said

“We have been working very hard for the past three years to make today possible.”

The approval is not a blank cheque, Bentley added.

The bids will have to be evaluated, he said.

There will be some “cleanup” construction to do after this next phase, Nordal said.

This project doesn’t include the construction of two mental health facilities — one in London and one in St. Thomas — expected to go to tender in 2009.
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