Stevenson Memorial Hospital
Striving to be the best in the province may seem like a tall order, but it is a goal that Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston, Ont., is well on the way to achieving. With a clear vision and a record of achievement over the past two years, the 38 bed facility has highly trained staff, state of the art technology and strong community partnerships that ensure a wide range services are available to the quickly growing and diverse catchment area of over 55,000 people.
Serving one of the fastest growing areas of the province, Stevenson’s success is recognized by patients with 100 per cent satisfaction rates for the birthing unit and by the Ministry of Health for high achievement when it comes to wait times in the emergency department. Currently, Stevenson holds 2nd place in the province for wait times out of 74 high volume emergency departments.
It’s an achievement that President and CEO Annette Jones is quick to point out.
“How exciting it is to know that patients arriving at our ER can expect to have shorter wait times for care than at most hospitals in Ontario, despite the steady growth in population and demand for service here,” said Jones. “Our outstanding work is rewarded annually with increased provincial funding from the Pay for Results program, and that enables us to reinvest in opportunities to further streamline our processes, improve our patients’ experiences and further reduce their wait time for care.”
Rising to 2nd from 15th in less than two years is an even more significant accomplishment when you consider the challenges of an aging, outdated facility originally built in 1964 to accommodate 7,000 emergency visits. This year, the number of visits to Stevenson’s Emergency is expected to exceed 30,000.
“We have outgrown our physical facility and we are doing amazing work every day with the infrastructure we have. However, we definitely need an expansion to keep up with the growing demand on our ER, operating rooms, laboratory and diagnostic imaging departments,” said Jones, adding that a proposal for a redevelopment is currently in the hands of the Central Local Health Integration Network.
On the technology side, the hospital recently acquired 8 new dialysis machines. In the past few years, Stevenson Memorial Hospital purchased a CT scanner as well as digital mammography equipment, further improving its healthcare services portfolio. The added bonus is the peace of mind that comes with the organization’s commitment to safe, high quality patient care.
Always looking for ways to serve the community with top-notch healthcare close to home, Stevenson recently added an Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Syndie Singer to the roster, opening the door to a new fracture clinic and orthopaedic surgery – services that used to require a lengthy trip out of town for Alliston residents.
As President and CEO for the past two years, Jones created an exciting five-year strategic plan setting the hospital’s priorities as: Safe, Quality Care; Building the Best; Financial Health; Power in Partnerships; and Our People – Champions of Care.
Given the organization’s focus on high quality patient care, Stevenson Memorial Hospital lives by its strategic pillars. For example, the Power in Partnerships pillar guides the hospital as it works alongside community healthcare centres to ensure that patients receive the necessary care.
“We rely on our key partnerships, because with small hospitals like ours we do not have the level of specialists available that you would find at a larger centre,” Jones explained. “For instance, we are now able to transfer out patients suffering hip fractures for treatment at Southlake Regional Health Centre within eight hours. That is a significant improvement from the past when the wait could reach 216 hours and the improvement clearly illustrates the power in partnerships.”
Through all the challenges, Jones leads a strong team of healthcare professionals at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, focused on meeting the healthcare needs of the community while remaining fiscally responsible.
“As our community ages, we are seeing a population with more chronic diseases, people are living longer, and they have more complex needs. Patients are living with multiple, chronic conditions,” she said.
Earlier this year, the hospital expanded its Hospitalist model of care for inpatients to include 3 Hospitalists. The result has been positive for staff and patients as Hospitalists are able to provide consistent, 24-7 care.
Stevenson’s Hospitalist program was introduced in 2009/2010, as a solution to limited physician availability to cover the work load of the inpatient floor, particularly on the weekends. In addition, there has been increased physician presence on the unit and a higher level of support and access for nurses, patients and families. Moving forward with a 3-physician model ensured daytime admissions are seen by the on-call hospitalist in a timely way.
“Being in a small community, the physicians, staff, and volunteers are very dedicated and focused on delivering excellent care. I am very proud to say that this year we achieved ‘Exemplary Status’ with Accreditation Canada, and that is in recognition of every staff member, physician and volunteer who is dedicated to building a culture that focuses on safe, quality care. It is a very significant and wonderful achievement for Stevenson as we continue toward our goal of being the best small hospital in Ontario.”