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Our journey towards Outstanding Care, Always
The Last 5 Years

Our journey towards Outstanding Care, Always
The Last 5 Years

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Five years ago, we set out on a bold journey to transform the patient and family experience at our hospital by pursuing our aim of Outstanding Care, Always. Right from the start, we knew we had some challenging work ahead. At the time, KGH was just beginning to emerge from a very difficult period, as the province had recently stepped in to investigate and then supervise our operations. It was clear, our hospital had drifted and that we were a long way from living up to our full potential and our proud 175-year legacy.

So we got busy creating a strategy to guide us into a new era. We spoke to over 2,000 people at KGH and in the community to get their ideas on what we could do to make KGH a hospital everyone could count on and be proud of. We also took a fresh look at our performance on all fronts, from our finances to the way we were serving our patients and their families. We then put it all together into a new long-term strategy and moved into action to transform the patient experience and our organization on every level.

Looking back, it’s easy to see just how far we’ve come. As a community of people dedicated to transforming the patient experience through innovative and collaborative approaches to care, knowledge and leadership, we are:

  • Pace-setters for safe and high-quality interprofessional care, delivering cutting-edge Patient- and Family-Centred Care and putting patients at the centre of everything we do;
  • Pioneers in the use of knowledge to improve the patient experience and patient outcomes, while also generating and sharing knowledge through research, education, scholarship and facilitating the rapid translation of evidence into practice;
  • Agents of change, leading by example as high performers and champions of health system reform.

The results are visible everywhere you look.

Our buildings and facilities are bright and modern. From redeveloped spaces and new wayfinding signage to carpet-free patient care areas, we’ve been steadily modernizing our facilities to create the environment for Outstanding Care, Always.

Our operating deficit has been eliminated, our budgets are balanced and we’re sustaining our financial health. On top of that, we’re investing millions more each year in the latest equipment and technologies to benefit our patients and staff. We’re also a greener hospital, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in energy costs that we’re able to invest back into patient care.

Of course, a high performing hospital is more than just better buildings and balanced budgets. The over 7,000 people who work, learn and volunteer at KGH have helped us achieve results that no one thought were possible. It takes dedicated and passionate people to implement significant change while delivering high quality services and the KGH community has risen to this challenge at every turn.

Recently, we set out to learn what our people are most proud of when we spoke to over 700 staff, physicians, volunteers and learners at our Team Talks. We’d like to share with you what we heard from them as well as highlights of our performance, in this five-year report on our progress towards our aim of Outstanding Care, Always. It tells our story with a multi-media mix of words, pictures and videos and also aims to set the stage for upcoming conversations about where KGH needs to go next.

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Partnering with Patients and Families

To improve the patient experience at KGH, we knew we had some tough questions to ask ourselves and even tougher choices to make. What better way to get started than by inviting our patients and their families to help us every step of the way. In 2010, we put a stake in the ground by committing that for every decision we make where there is any impact on the patient and family experience, patients and families would be at the table.

Today, partnering with patients and families is what defines the KGH Way. It’s how we’ve made steady progress towards Outstanding Care, Always over the past five years, and the reason we are now recognized as a national leader in patient engagement and Patient- and Family-Centred Care.

Patnering with Patients and Families

This partnership began with conversations with a number of patients who weren’t happy with some of the things happening at their hospital and who were willing to join us in our efforts to make things better. In 2010, we created our Patient and Family Advisory Council and now our Patient Experience Advisor program is embedded in the very fabric of our organization. More than 60 advisors are partnering with individuals and teams at KGH to help transform the patient experience. They bring their unique perspective as patients to decision-making involving quality, safety and service improvement initiatives in every facet of the organization. The presence of Patient Experience Advisors has shifted the conversation in our hospital. We no longer talk about doing things to or for patients, we talk about doing things with them. It’s a unique way of working with our patients and families that establishes relationships and builds trust and confidence. Sometimes, it’s a little complicated and we receive feedback that is difficult to hear, but we’re continuously learning to listen and accommodate patient and family feedback so that we can work together as a team.

Patients are telling us the food is better, the place is cleaner and they are more satisfied with their care

More than
60 Patient Experience Advisors
are working together with us on over 400 projects, task forces, committees, and program councils.

Patient Experience Advisors have helped us design new approaches to:

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    Communication at the Bedside

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    Hiring New Employees

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    Food Services

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    Patient Education Materials

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    Hospital Website

  • and more!

Satisfaction with...

Overall quality of care at KGH  has improved from 90% to 93% The condition of patient rooms and the hospital overall improved from 76% to 83% Meals have increased from 63% to 90%

Patient concerns are being resolved more efficiently
The average number of days to resolve a patient complaint has decreased from 60 to 15


In The Media

N.B. hospitals hope to learn from Kingston turnaround

October 03, 2013
CBC New Brunswick

Hospital decision-makers in New Brunswick are looking to a Kingston, Ont., hospital for help in improving hospital care in the province.

Leslee Thompson, the president and chief executive officer of the Kingston General Hospital, is meeting with hospital managers from Horizon Health Network on Thursday to tell them of the Kingston experience.

In the span of a few years, Thompson's hospital went from having one of the worst reputations to having one of the best.

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Patient Experience Advisors a prescription for health-care power shift

February 14, 2014
The Globe and Mail

When candidates for a phlebotomist’s job came to Kingston General Hospital for interviews recently, they faced a hiring panel comprised of three people: A human resources official, a manager from the lab and immunology department and a 77-year-old retired innkeeper whose primary experience in health care was on the receiving end of a needle.

The innkeeper was Patrick Dickey, one of the 55 patient advisers who now have a say in every decision the hospital makes, right down to hiring those phlebotomists – the people trained to draw patients’ blood.

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A new experience

January 13, 2012
Kingston Whig-Standard

Daryl Bell had always thought hospitals were naturally centred around patients - until he experienced otherwise.

"I got a cancer diagnosis a couple of years ago that was totally unexpected," recalled Bell. "My eyes glazed over - that's all I heard was 'cancer.'"

Now, after helping form the Patient and Family Advisory Group at Kingston General Hospital almost two years ago, he can think of a dozen different ways that difficult situation could have been made easier.

"In the hospital, often times we don't even recognize what we do is hospital-centric until we actually sit down with the patients and say, 'How is this experience for you?'"

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Patient Engagement at the Kingston General Hospital - White Coat Black Art

September 21, 2013

Big changes are in the air and Kingston General Hospital is on the leading edge. Until recently, it had a less than stellar reputation with patients. It recruited those same unhappy patients to give them advice on how to do things better.

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The concrete examples you provided of how Kingston General has placed patients at the centre and on the front lines of decision-making were very useful. You have given the CHEO team inspiration as we move through our own journey from good to great health care.

Alex Munter,
President and CEO,
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

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We put a stake in the ground that for any decision where there is a significant impact on the experience of patients, a patient will be at the table.

Leslee Thompson,
President and CEO,
Kingston General Hospital

Eliminating all preventable harm to patients

During the creation of our strategy, people let us know they are counting on KGH to deliver safe, high-quality care. The reality is that in a busy, around-the-clock organization, there can be breakdowns in communication, things can and do go wrong and mistakes can happen. It’s why we made eliminating all preventable harm to patients one of our top priorities.

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We started by working to strengthen our patient safety culture across the hospital and began using continuous improvement methods wherever we could. Big changes soon followed and we have now improved our overall patient safety performance significantly.

In our patient care areas, our team members are stand out performers when it comes to washing their hands. Over the past few years, we’ve gone from being one of the worst performers on hand hygiene to one of the best in the province.

Better hand hygiene has helped us dramatically reduce the spread of infections in our hospital, especially when combined with cutting-edge room cleaning methods, the latest patient-care checklists, a new high-tech infection test and an antibiotic stewardship program to prevent C. difficile infections.

To help drive other improvements, all members of our staff are now using enhanced SAFE reporting tools that were put in place over the past few years. These online tools are specially designed to help people report any errors or adverse events, so they can be quickly investigated with a focus on preventing them from happening again. We’re not done yet, but the results show our efforts are working:

Our hospital is a cleaner, safer environment for our patients and families.

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    Our staff Patient Safety Culture survey results have improved from 66% to 84%*

    (*based on the number of people surveyed who rated patient safety at KGH as acceptable, very good or excellent)

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    We went from being one of the worst performers in the province for hand hygiene compliance at 34%, to being one of the best with performance hovering around 90%

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    We used to have regular outbreaks of C. difficile and now there have been no outbreaks for more than 35 months.

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    Detailed medication reviews are now being completed for 79% of all patients admitted to our hospital, meaning better medication safety.

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    We used to see hundreds of specimen collection errors each quarter. Today that number is down to 84, meaning faster, more accurate test results for patients.

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The organization has set a great example for others to follow and is to be commended for their commitment to supporting the involvement of patients and families in everything that they do, and especially in patient safety and quality improvement initiatives.

Hugh Macleod,
former CEO Canadian Patient Safety Institute

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During my stay at KGH I was extremely impressed by the medical attention and treatment I received, the profound friendliness of the staff and, in particular, the efficiency of the nursing staff. I have nothing but admiration for the care I received and it is a great comfort to live in a city with a hospital that provides such first-rate care.

KGH patient feedback letter
Sept. 2013

  • KGH wins the Canadian Patient Safety Institue Award


    KGH wins the Canadian Patient Safety Institue Award

    Hospital achieves 98.9 percent of 2,000 standards

  • Accreditation Canada awards KGH with 'Accreditation with Exemplary Standing'


    Accreditation Canada awards KGH with 'Accreditation with Exemplary Standing'

    Patient- and Family-Centred Care recognized for its important role in making the hospital safer

  • KGH is recognized as a National Top-Performer in Stroke Care


    KGH is recognized as a National Top-Performer in Stroke Care

    KGH becomes second acute-care hospital in Canada to achieve Accreditation Canada’s ‘Stroke Distinction’ designation

Eliminating all preventable delays in the patient journey

Discharge Planning

Along with safe and quality care, people also reminded us they are depending on us for a quick and seamless care experience. Over the past five years, we have been working to eliminate all preventable delays in the patient journey to, within and from KGH.

Due to overall population growth and an aging demographic, more people than ever are coming to KGH each year for Emergency Department visits, surgeries and cancer care. Many of them then need to be admitted to a bed with complex and chronic conditions.

At the same time, we have been experiencing fluctuations in the number of patients waiting in our hospital to be transferred to a more appropriate care setting, such as a long-term care home. These factors have combined at times to tip us into a situation of gridlock, where we have trouble moving patients through the hospital to their intended destination.

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My experience at KGH was exceptional in every way, from admission to discharge. My experience is yet another reason Kingstonians should be deeply proud of their hospital and the people who provide our care.

KGH patient feedback letter,
May 2014

We realized we couldn’t tackle this situation alone so we brought together over 80 people from inside and outside of our hospital to help us identify the top causes of gridlock at KGH. Using continuous improvement methods, this team kicked off the work of coming up with innovative solutions to this stubborn patient flow problem.

As a result, we now have improved admission and discharge processes that eliminate barriers to moving patients in and out of beds. Improved communication between units and care teams, along with new room cleaning systems are also having a positive impact on patient room turnaround times. When there are barriers to patient flow, they are now openly discussed each day at our patient flow huddles where interprofessional care teams work together to find solutions to various sources of delay.

Despite all of our progress, we know we’ll continue to experience clinical surges that will put our best efforts to the test. It’s why we are committed to generating new ideas with the help of our partners, so we are improving the patient journey every step of the way. It’s an ongoing challenge, but we’re encouraged that patients are now moving more quickly through our hospital than they have in some time

Over the last five years, the volume of patients accessing our Emergency Department increased from 47,000 to 57,000 and the total number of admissions increased from 19,000 to 23,000

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    • The number of patients admitted from the ED who got to a bed within 8 hours increased from 2,358 to 3,759.
      That's a 59% improvement!

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    • The percentage of non-admitted, high acuity patients who were seen by a physician, treated and discharged within 8 hours increased from 76% to 91%

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    • Most patients are being seen by a physician within an average of one hour of arrival.

Patients are spending less time in our hospital

Patients are spending less time in our hospital once their acute care is complete.

The average length of stay at our hospital decreased from 7 to 6 days which is better than the expected length of stay, based on our patient population.

Patients are waiting less time to recieve their MRI study and cancer surgery.

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    • Our average MRI wait time has improved from 42 to 27 days. At the same time, we increased our capacity to deliver the service by 1,300 scans.

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    • The percentage of patients receiving their cancer surgery within the target wait time has improved from 63% to 90%.

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From the moment of check-in to release from the hospital, the most striking feature was the cheerful, ever-helpful attitude of the staff, especially the nurses. They gave the impression of being seriously interested in my welfare and level of comfort and every one seemed to be totally involved in delivering compassionate health care.

KGH patient feedback letter,
July 2014

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Patient- and Family-Centred Care

Our patients told us that there were too many confusing handoffs during their care, that they didn’t always know who everyone was at the hospital and that overall, there needed to be a more coordinated and collaborative team effort surrounding their experience. To help us respond better to the needs of our patients, we began the process of implementing a new model of care on all of our patient care floors. Our Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Model (ICPM) breaks new ground by putting our patients and their families at the centre of the interprofessional care team and ensures their voice is being heard clearly, perhaps where it matters the most, in their care at the bedside.

We call it Patient- and Family-Centred Care and it’s now flourishing everywhere in our hospital, supported by a set of patient-centred care standards that teams now follow to ensure a consistent care experience in every area of the hospital.

Look around any patient care area in our hospital and you’ll see the difference it’s making:

Patient suggestions are evident in all clinical areas of the hospital:

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    Whiteboards in patient rooms help patients and families communicate with their care teams.

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    Name-tags worn at chest level help patients know who is caring for them.

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    Menus are enticing and easy to read

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    Hand hygiene posters in every inpatient unit show how we're doing at washing our hands.

Amidst huge changes in every area of our hospital, staff have continued to put patients first and patient satisfaction with overall care at our hospital has been

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Bringing to Life New Models of Interprofessional Care and Education

Patient and family feedback is leading to improvement opportunities across the organization.

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    43 patient feedback forums were held where staff and physicians heard directly from recently discharged patients and their families about what their experience was like.

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    More than 860 staff, physicians, learners and volunteers have been trained in Communicate with H.E.A.R.T - a renowned service excellence program developed by the Cleveland Clinic.

In The Media

Hospitals are parting with visiting hours as they move toward more patient-centred care

July 27, 2014
The Globe and Mail

When Chuck Davis was rushed to Kingston General Hospital in May 2013, the nurses in the intensive-care unit offered his wife something she did not expect – a cot. Phyllis Davis was surprised because the last time Davis’s Type 2 diabetes, low hemoglobin and other health troubles landed him in at KGH, back in 2008, she was not allowed to bed down in his ICU room.

All that changed in 2010, when KGH followed an increasingly widespread trend in the United States and became one of the first hospitals in Canada to do away with visiting hours, a move at least 20 other hospitals and health-care facilities across the country have since followed and which others are considering.

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Why Canadian hospitals are getting rid of visitor hours

September 23, 2014
Global News

You’re sitting next to your loved one in hospital, holding his or her hand while they rest, but then you’re told that visiting hours are up and you need to leave.

Now, a number of hospitals across the country are getting rid of visiting hours so that patients’ family members can stay with them around the clock.

Charity Gable’s husband has leukemia and she makes sure to stay by his side. She doesn’t have to watch the clock either, because Ontario’s Kingston General Hospital has done away with visiting hours.

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Kingston General Hospital wins Patient Safety Champion Organization Award for 2014

CPSI Website

Ensuring that the patient is at the centre of the decision-making process has become a way of life at Kingston General Hospital (KGH). Today, the hospital has 61 active patient and family advisors partnering with staff on a number of safety initiatives. For this, Accreditation Canada and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute are pleased to recognize Kingston General Hospital as the organization recipient of the 2014 Patient Safety Champion Award.

Daryl Bell, KGH Lead, Patient- and Family-Centred Care, says that the development of the Patient- and Family-Centred Care program is bigger than any one individual safety initiative, but rather a change in the way the hospital looks at patient safety. It all began in 2010 when KGH was facing significant financial trouble and had been placed under supervision by the Ontario government. It was an ideal time for the hospital to create a new model of care aimed at improving both the patient experience and staff morale.

That year, KGH created a Patient and Family Advisory Council and recruited their first 26 Patient Experience Advisors. Now there are more than 60 passionate advisors who contributed more than 5,000 volunteer hours last year.

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Transforming the patient experience: Bringing to life a Patient- and Family-Centred interprofessional collaborative practice model of care at Kingston General Hospital

Volume #1, Issue #1 - (2014)
Patient Experience Journal

The Kingston General Hospital strategic plan includes transforming the patient experience and bringing to life new models of interprofessional care and education. The implementation of the Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Model has been the foundation of this transformational change. Areas identified for improvement included communication, discharge planning, and purposeful engagement of patients and families in the care process.

Through a system-wide approach to change, it was expected that the organization would be better prepared to deliver safer, higher quality care and enriched experiences for patients, families and practitioners.

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  • KGH wins NRC Picker Innovative Best Practice Award


    KGH Wins NRC Picker Innovative Best Practice Award

    For our work on creating new models of Patient- and Family-Centred Care and interprofessional collaboration. First Canadian hospital to claim this prestigious award.

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Your staff made my involvement in my friends stay most pleasant. The thoughtfulness and respect shown by the staff at KGH made my wife and I feel like part of the team. Please convey our sincere gratitude and thanks.

KGH patient feedback letter
Sept 2013

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Things are a lot different than when we first arrived at KGH four years ago. Staff across the hospital are excited about engaging with patients and their families and that is an inspiring thing to be part of. It made us feel very proud of the people of KGH.

Bernard Roberson,
Administrative Director of Patient- and
Family-Centred Care at Georgie Regents Health

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Many informal meetings were held with our family to go over my husband’s condition and in many cases just to ensure that we as a family were coping with the stress. We will never forget the compassion and support which was given to us.

KGH family member feedback letter
July 2011

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I cannot find enough complimentary words to say about the staff of Kingston General Hospital. I saw in them what compassion looks like. I was treated as an individual and I felt safe.

KGH patient feedback letter
March 2011

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As an academic hospital, carrying out cutting-edge research is in our DNA. It’s another important way we create value for our patients, their families and the health care system.

In 2010, we set out to dramatically increase the amount of externally funded research we are receiving and over the past few years this important figure has jumped by more than 50 percent.

Cultivating Patient-Oriented Research

At the same time, we began nurturing a culture of patient-oriented research at KGH. This type of research sees us translating our knowledge into new treatments, health policies and improved clinical care.

To focus and support this work, we created our own KGH Research Institute and today more than 160 researchers are expanding the boundaries of knowledge in areas like critical care, chronic pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal diseases, emergency medicine and cancer. Their efforts have earned headlines and accolades on a number of fronts, including the creation of a promising new tool in the fight against C. difficile, a new clinic to improve the health of mothers after they give birth, new treatments for allergy sufferers, and better ways to treat our frail and elderly, and those suffering from pulmonary hypertension.

Together, these many improvements are leaving us well positioned to compete for scarce resources and top talent as as we take our patient-oriented research program to new heights.

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    $23 million a year
    in research revenue

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    Over 500 active
    research projects

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    Over 150 active
    clinical trials

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    Eleven new clinician-scientists

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    External research funding increased
    by more than 50 percent since 2010

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    Research space increased by more
    than 25 percent since 2010

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As a clinician, my ultimate goal in everything I do is to improve the quality of life of the people we look after in the ICU. Having an investigative unit within the hospital allows us to translate our research into better outcomes for our patients.

Dr. Gordon Boyd,
Neurologist, intensive care physician and
clinician scientist at KGH

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In a patient-oriented research centre, we can actually go to the operating room, get cells with permission from patients, look at them under a microscope and diagnose this structural abnormality, and potentially give a molecular therapy. That’s research in action.

Dr. Stephen Archer,
Head of Medicine at KGH and Queen's
University and clinician scientist

  • KGH wins NRC Picker Innovative Best Practice Award


    KGH is one of Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals

    We generate $23 million per year in research revenue.

In The Media

A Miracle Cure, Not for the Squeamish

July 18, 2013

Cynthia Morgan-Robson always prided herself on her independence. She lived on her own in Port Hope, Ont., well into her senior years. In 2009, following a string of hospital visits related to knee-replacement surgery, Morgan-Robson acquired a vicious Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. Laid low by crippling diarrhea, she could no longer care for herself. A doctor at the nursing home referred her to infectious diseases specialist Dr. Elaine Petrof, who works with C. diff patients at the Kingston General Hospital...

Petrof recruited Morgan-Robson into a clinical study using synthetic feces—the first of its kind…Amazingly, it seems to have cured Morgan-Robson and the other C. diff patient who was treated as part of the study. Both received Repoopulate by colonoscopy at Kingston General in May 2012; since then, their symptoms have disappeared. Morgan-Robson, who remains in the nursing home, has returned to her former self. After the treatment, she was able to recognize Harness’s three daughters again. “We were amazed,” Harness says. “She’s back.”

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Colon cancer study looks at physical activity

March 07, 2014
Kingston Whig-Standard

It's common knowledge that physical activity can help you lead a healthier life. It can help prevent obesity as well as certain other diseases. But can it improve the survival rate of cancer patients?

A unique international study is currently underway to answer that question and includes researchers at Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital. Dr. Chris Booth, an associate professor at Queen's and medical oncologist at KGH, is the lead investigator for the local research.

“This is really the first clinical trial in the world to definitively test the question about whether exercise will improve cancer survival,” he explained.

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Aspirin for surgery patients ineffective: Study

April 09, 2014
Kingston Whig-Standard

The practice of doctors giving low doses of Aspirin to prevent heart attacks in surgery patients is ineffective and in some cases, harmful, according to an international study that included researchers from Kingston General Hospital and Queen's University.

The results of the Peri-Operative Ischemic Evaluation Study (POISE-2) were published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was the largest clinical trial to evaluate major cardiovascular issues that arise from non-cardiac surgeries.

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KGH celebrates donation for research centre

December 19, 2013
Kingston Region Website

On Dec. 11, trustees from the William James Henderson Foundation gathered with staff and visitors at Kingston General Hospital to present a cheque for $1 million. The money has been pledged by the foundation in order to fund a new Centre for Patient-Oriented Research at the hospital. Leslee Thompson, president and CEO of KGH, said that the new facility will have expansive lab space, patient accommodations for clinical trials, large meeting spaces and more.

"Patient-oriented research is where we are really focusing," Thompson said at the cheque presentation. "This gift is going to help us have state of the art research facilities."

Thompson explained that the donation will increase the hospital's existing research space by nearly 25 per cent. It will also be able to support the hospital's research needs for the next five to 10 years.

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As our region’s complex-acute and specialty care, research and teaching hospital, KGH has a unique role to play and our stakeholders told us they are counting on us to make sure our services are well aligned and integrated with the broader health care system. Each day, we deliver the specialized care that no one else can provide in our part of the province. People turn to us to treat such complex conditions as heart disease, kidney failure, cancers, pulmonary hypertension, traumas and high-risk pregnancies, to name just a few.

Increasing Our Focus on Complex-Acute and Specialty Care

Over the last five years, we have strengthened collaborations with our partners in the South East LHIN to help ensure patients are receiving care in the most appropriate settings and to ensure that our capacity is available to meet the acute care needs of patients in our region. This work is focusing on improving patient transfers between regional health care facilities and ensuring that the right community supports are in place for recently discharged patients so they don’t need to be readmitted following discharge. We’re helping to make sure that patients are getting the right care, at the right time, in the right place while delivering the volume of services that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term and our community expects of us. These types of changes are key to making our hospital system sustainable with KGH serving our community by providing the types of care we deliver best. These types of changes are key to making our hospital system sustainable with KGH serving our community by providing the types of care we deliver best.

Sharpening our focus on our unique regional role is an ongoing challenge and one we cannot work on in isolation. Thankfully, there is a new level of collaboration taking place with our health system partners throughout the region. We are working together to improve access to seamless, high quality care for the residents of southeastern Ontario, now and into the future. As we start to think about the next frontier towards Outstanding Care, Always, we’re doing so in the company of committed hospital, health services and academic partners who share our passion for transforming the patient experience.

We continue to pioneer innovative new ways to care for our patients

  • Heart Infographic

    We introduced a new alternative cardiac procedure (TAVI) for patients who are high-risk for open heart surgery.

  • Heart Rhythm Infographic

    We are the first hospital in Ontario to use GPS-like electrophysiology technology that can virtually cure patients with heart rhythm disorders.

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    We are now using non-invasive surgical techniques for patients who require spinal procedures so they can go home quicker, have fewer complications and less downtime.

  • Acute Mental Health

    Our new acute mental health unit provides specialized care for patients with acute mental health issues

We're partnering with Hotel Dieu Hospital to optimize access and coordination of specialized outpatient services.

Hospital Infographic

We moved 80 clinics representing 50,000 annual patient visits to Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Needle Infographic

We reorganized our Armstrong clinic wing and co-located services that are complementary to clinic visits with specific improvements that enhance patient flow and improve access to routine services like blood work.

Community Care Access Centre

We're partnering with the Community Care Access Centre and HomeFirst on innovative ways to streamline transitions in care from the hospital to the community or home.

We're working together with family physicians to enhance the quality and continuity of care for our patients.

100% of patients leave our hospital with a discharge summary that includes all the details of what happened during their stay at KGH and 66% of those are being sent to family physicians within 72 hours.

The remainder are sent within days.

Discharge Forms Infographic
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KGH has become a role model to other health care organizations across Canada for how to strategically and operationally move a vision into reality; to have this commitment permeate every pore of the organization, through every person involved in the process.

Wendy Nicklin,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Accreditation Canada

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As a widely-recognized centre of excellence in all aspects of patient care, and being at the leading edge of research and innovation, I have heard KGH referred to on numerous occasions as a leader in health care in the province and the country. This has been achieved through vision, collaboration and the extraordinary dedication and hard work of everyone at KGH.

Sophie Kiwala,
MPP for Kingston and the Islands

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We consider ourselves extremely fortunate that KGH provides the level of care that allowed us to stay within our own community and close to our support group, while our family were going through this difficult time. We were and continue to be grateful for the care and support that we have received at KGH over the past year.

KGH patient feedback letter,
September 2012

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Making KGH A Great Place To Work

The biggest asset any hospital has is the people working inside it. As part of our strategy, we launched a ‘people plan’ to help create a positive, dynamic and healthy workplace united around our aim of Outstanding Care, Always. Our results are proof that when you have dedicated people who are passionate about what they believe in, anything can happen.

There isn’t one area of the hospital that hasn’t gone through an incredible amount of change over the past five years. From delivering care during redevelopment construction and moving patient care units so that carpets could be removed, to implementing new care models, and adopting new patient care technologies, we have asked a lot of our people and they have risen to every challenge.

People across the organization say they are feeling a renewed sense of pride in our institution because they have proven to themselves that we can do more than we ever thought possible. This incredible passion in our workplace was recently a cause for an organization-wide celebration when KGH was nominated for, and then won, a prestigious Canada’s Passion Capitalists Award in 2014.

It’s not all perfect, but one thing we’ve been building is our capacity to solve problems differently, which is vital in our changing health care landscape. We promised to engage staff in all aspects of quality, safety and service improvements and over the past five years, we’ve trained many staff and our Patient Experience Advisors in continuous improvement methodology. It’s helped unlock our potential and people are coming up with new ideas to be more efficient, use our resources wisely, eliminate waste and streamline our processes.

These changes are about empowering all of our people so together we are prepared to meet our challenges and deliver the outstanding care people are counting on us for.

We’re making it easier for our people to stay current and cutting-edge.

Our new

Learning Management System

contains over 300 mandatory and professional development training programs

We're strengthening the alignment of our daily work to our strategy

Five years ago, most employees had never had a performance conversation with their manager.

This year, 65% of our employees have had performance reviews and submitted formal performance agreements:

  • 4,000 goals declared
  • 2,084 strengths revealed
  • 2,084 development opportunities planned
  • 4,000 ways of improving engagement discussed
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Over the last few years we've learned that we can do it - morale has improved, the attitude in the organizations has shifted from people being angry about the changes to now working together.

Critical Care Team Talks Feedback

  • Our compliance with mandatory training has improved from 82% to 92%

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  • We have delivered over 325 hours of in-house leadership development training.

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We're making sure our staff are well so they can do their best to make our patients well

  • Wellness Centre Icon

    We opened a new Wellness Centre where staff can relax, recharge and reconnect.

  • Wellness Website Icon

    Our new KGH Wellness website helps staff access and plan for opportunities.

  • Yoga and Meditation Icon

    Staff participated in 208 Yoga and Meditation classes.

  • Ergonomic Beds icon

    We invested over $1 million in ergonomic equipment to improve patient and staff safety, including high-low beds, bed-side chairs, lifts, bariatric equipment, office chairs, and workstations.

  • Passion Capital Award


    Passion Capital

    KGH is one of 10 Canadian organizations to be honoured as a 2014 Canada's Passion Capitalist. We are cited as a Patient- and Family-Centred Care role model for hospitals around the world

  • Health and Safety Improvements Award


    OHA Quality Health Care Workplace

    Our hospital scored high in this provincial award that measures health & safety improvements.

  • Kingston Immigration Partners Award


    Kingston Immigration Partners

    KGH reognized for efforts to promote and support diversity in our workplace.

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A lot of people are finding their voices, and are finding new opportunities to express themselves and bring their ideas forward.

Professional Practice Group Team Talks feedback

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Today I am most proud of the spirit of inclusiveness at KGH; opinions of all staff are sought and valued, there is greater collaboration across the organization and we are seeing the benefits.

Information Management Team Talks feedback

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I’m proud that KGH is being noticed as a leader throughout the country and that the changes we have made have resulted in real progress. I am happy to let people know that “Yes, I work at KGH and am very proud of it.

Plant Operations and Maintenance Services
Team Talks feedback

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We have learned that change is good!! We have learned that we need to be flexible, innovative and have learned to work smarter in order to adapt to the increased workload, case complexity and resource reductions, all while providing a superior product and service. We have learned to work together as a team in order to reach our goals. We have learned to prioritize critical needs, work through complications, be innovative all while remaining compliant with our provincial licensing body. We have learned that "WE CAN."

Clinical Laboratory Team Talks feedback

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Enabling High Performance

To achieve Outstanding Care, Always, we recognized we needed to create the right environment for it to flourish.

We set out to restore our hospital’s financial health as soon as possible, while successfully completing the multi-million dollar redevelopment project that was already underway and building our capacity to continue to invest in the equipment, facilities and technology required to provide leading edge care.

We also promised to make KGH clean, green and carpet free.

Achieving all of these outcomes within the past five years has required enormous effort from everyone who works, learns and volunteers at KGH and we couldn’t be prouder of the results.

  • Soon after we launched our five-year-strategy, we eliminated a $26 million operating deficit, delivered our first balanced budget in 16 years and we continue to sustain our financial health in the face of being required to absorb unfunded inflation of approximately $7 million per year.

  • We started with a capital budget of just $3 million a year and are now able to invest almost $20 million a year in the facilities, technology and equipment required to deliver Outstanding Care, Always.

  • We introduced the KGH Way; a rigourous approach to decision making and performance management that is based in our guiding priciples of respect, engagement, accountability, transparency and value for money.

We're creating the environment for Outstanding Care, Always. With the support of our Provincial Government, community and donors, we completed our $196 Million Phase One Redevelopment Project on time and on budget including new facilities for:

  • Cancer
  • Dialysis
  • Intensive Care
  • Mental Health
  • Pediatrics

Rapid Transmission of Information is improving care and operational efficiency. We completed more than 306 major technology projects, giving staff and physicians the tools they need to deliver Outstanding Care, Always.

For Example:

  • Emergency Department Information System Infographic

    Our Emergency Department Information System puts electronic patient information at the fingertips of health care providers.

  • Automated Drug Cabinets Infographic

    Automated Drug Cabinets improve medication safety.

  • Lab Order Entry Infographic

    Lab Order Entry ensures fast, accurate test results.

  • Learning Management System Infographic

    Our Learning Management System helps equip staff with the cutting edge knowledge and skills they need to deliver the best care.

We're making KGH clean, green and carpet free

Removed carpet icon

We removed the equivalent of 5 football fields worth of carpet from every patient area of the hospital and renovated 20 floors along the way.

5 Football Fields

We were one of the first hospitals in Ontario to bring in a third-party cleaning auditor to help drive improvements.

  • Westech audits 500 rooms two times a year, looking at everything from cleanliness of bed rails to door knobs and other high-touch areas.

  • Our latest score was 77% up from 68% in our first audit in 2011.

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  • Energy Reduction Icon

    Energy projects have resulted in a net 16% reduction in our utility budget, which adds up to $800,000 per year that we can redirect to patient care.

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We're using the equivalent of 30 Olympic-size swimming pools less water thanks to our new low-flow toilets, sinks, and other water fixtures.

30 Olympic-size swimming pools
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My hats off to every single person who works here at KGH. This kind of change isn’t always easy, but you’ve risen to the challenge and you’re inspiring hospitals right across Ontario. Thank you for all you’ve done to make this hospital a model and leader in Ontario.

Deb Matthews,
Former Ontario Minister of Health
and Long-Term Care

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Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is an example of a major turnaround. Recovering from a serious financial crisis, the new leadership team has transformed the hospital into a well-managed, fiscally responsible and patient focused organization.

Paul Huras,
CEO, South East Local
Health Integration Network

In The Media

In Recovery


When (Leslee Thompson) arrived (KGH) was a troubled institution saddled with a daunting set of problems. Wait times for beds were dramatically out of line with provincial standards. The rate of hospital-acquired infections was too high. Too many acute-care beds were being occupied by patients who should have been receiving care elsewhere. Parts of the hospital were in dire need of upgrading, but there was nowhere near enough money for renovations and barely enough for routine maintenance. Staff morale was on life support, and the number of staff taking sick days was at unprecedented levels. Most serious of all were the finances, which at one point in 2008 were so dire they threatened KGH’s ability to make payroll.

Today, those problems are not what they used to be — in a good way.

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Pocket-sized ultrasound machines make imaging easy

October 19, 2014
CTV News

A new kind of ultrasound machine is making its way into the pockets of doctors around the world.

The machines used to be confined to clunky computers that had to be carted around. Now, new handheld devices about the size of a smartphone allow doctors to image patients instantly.

“We can diagnose an acute heart attack, fluid around the heart, figure out why someone’s valve is not working in five minutes instead of an hour,” said Dr. Stephen Archer, head of medicine at Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital. “And those minutes can make a big difference.”

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KGH unveils new cardiac monitoring equipment

January 29, 2015
Kingston Whig-Standard

The dream in this case was to provide Kingston General Hospital’s cardiac team with GPS-like technology that allows doctors to see real-time, three-dimensional images of the precise location of catheters and tools inside the heart when treating heart rhythm disturbances such as atrial fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia.

KGH is the first hospital in Ontario to have the technology and only the second in Canada, after Montreal.

“Truly, there is no better place in Canada to have your arrhythmia treated than Kingston General Hospital,” Redfearn said.

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KGH retrofit leads to huge energy savings

February 12, 2015
Kingston Whig-Standard

New technological advances in medicine at Kingston General Hospital may be grabbing most of the headlines, but a behind-the-scenes effort that went mostly unnoticed by patients has been quietly adding to the hospital’s reputation. A $10-million, five-year effort to upgrade the hospital’s energy systems has turned it into one of the most energy-efficient acute care hospitals in the country.

The project’s first part began in 2010 with the start of a major retrofit to the hospital infrastructure that would reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of buildings. A second energy project began in 2013.

“These projects combined have netted us over $800,000 in energy and water savings and reduced our carbon footprint by over 14%,” Allan McLuskie, director of facilities at KGH, said.

The Kingston Whig Standard Logo
  • KGH wins the Canadian Patient Safety Institue Award


    Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society

    CHES toured our overall efforts to reduce the hospital's carbon foorprint by 14 percent through our work with our energy saving partner Honeywell

  • KGH is recognized as a National Top-Performer in Stroke Care


    Switch/City of Kingston green award

    KGH was recognized for our participation in the Save On Energy Retrofit Program which has saved us almost $800,000 annually in total energy costs that we are investing back into patient care.

  • Accreditation Canada awards KGH with 'Accreditation with Exemplary Standing'


    OHA Green Award

    We received a bronze score in the Ontario Hospital Association’s new Green Hospital Scorecard for our ongoing efforts to significantly reduce our energy and water usage.

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Community Care Access Centre

Help us shape the future

Help us shape the future

Over the past five years, we have made great strides towards our aim of Outstanding Care, Always. But there is still a lot to do and as always, we will once again need your input to help us shape the future of our organization.

The health care system as a whole is undergoing constant change and as the region’s biggest hospital our role will no doubt be changing with it. We know that our resources will likely continue to shrink as governments look to contain spending and invest more money into community health care supports. We also know that demand for our services will continue to grow as the population of our region continues to age and people arrive at our hospital needing ongoing treatment for complex and chronic conditions.

People from across the hospital are already helping shape the future of hospital care across the region by participating in the Health Care Tomorrow initiative. This initiative is studying the future of hospital care across our region and it’s being led by the South East LHIN and the CEOs of our region’s seven hospitals and the Community Care Access Centre.

Once that work is done, we will begin the process of creating our new five-year strategy. To help us meet our many challenges, we will once again be turning to our stakeholders and the community for input about what’s next on our journey towards Outstanding Care, Always. In the meantime, we hope you’ll stay connected with KGH to keep track of the exciting things happening at your hospital via our patient and family focused website and our many social media channels.

We hope you enjoyed your read of our five-year report. Please send us any questions or comments you have. Don’t forget to check out the KGH Strategy Performance Report and our Management Discussion and Analysis document on our website at www.kgh.on.ca where you can see how each of the indicators that we monitor has trended over the past five quarters and what actions are being taken to improve our performance.

Join us as we continue our journey towards Outstanding Care, Always!