KGH Board of Directors gives high praise to staff during board orientation session

News / Education
By Peter Jeffrey

Members of our Board of Directors got a special behind-the-scenes look at Kingston General Hospital in action last week. As part of a two-day orientation and education session, the board members met with staff, went on tours and took in presentations focused on some of the important initiatives underway inside and outside of KGH.

The two days of learning began with a high-profile guest speaker from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Associate Deputy Minister Helen Angus talked about how the province's new Health Links initiative is working to better facilitate coordination of the planning and delivery of patient care at a local level for high needs patients.

"There is a lot of innovative work being done at the provincial and regional level to improve the delivery of patient care. It's important that we understand clearly how it is impacting our hospital," says Tom Buchanan, Chair of the Board of Directors.

On day two, the board took a look at some of the priority improvement initiatives underway here at KGH, starting with an intense study of what we are doing to improve patient flow and eliminate all preventable delays. KGH staff leading teams aimed at eliminating "Gridlock" talked to the board about how we are using the principles of continuous improvement to both identify the root causes of gridlock and to plan improvement cycles that will lead to change that can be sustained. This part of the day also featured tours of the Emergency Department, the Admitting Department and a look at the Bed Board and Connell 9 to observe how patient flow is managed.

The goal of the afternoon session was to show the board more about where health-care technology is heading.

After a presentation, the board split off into a number of tours to see some of our investments in technology, including our new Automated Drug Cabinets, the Emergency Department Information System (EDIS), as well as our remote patient monitoring technology.

"It's more than just a new computer system coming online. It takes people to embrace them and bring them to life and we were impressed to see the dedication and enthusiasm staff showed in applying them to patient care," says Buchanan.

Each year, a few new board members are chosen as replacements and they are picked carefully based on their qualifications. The goal is to have a range of people with different professional experiences and skills gathered around the table. The board also has six Ex-officio Non-Voting members, including our President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Staff, Chief Nursing Executive and the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University.

"This was a great opportunity to get a close look of some of the big, bold initiatives KGH is working on," says Peng-Sang Cau, one of three new members joining the board this year. "I'm new to healthcare and during this orientation session I felt like I underwent a year of learning. It's helped me gain a better understanding of all the teamwork it takes to run and improve a complex organization like KGH."

If you would like to know more about our Board of Directors, visit our external website at www.kgh.on.ca and follow the links under "About KGH".