Kemptville District Hospital looks to the future

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The Hospital’s new strategic plan will chart a course to continue its leadership role in meeting community healthcare needs

As Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) enters its new strategic planning cycle, it is developing a program that recommits the hospital to staying ahead of the health system curve. A new wave of healthcare reform is undoubtedly coming to Ontario – with an aging population and massive government debt, the province must institute new rules and regulations to drive improvements in the quality, cost and efficiency of hospitals and health systems.

Kemptville Hospital’s new strategic plan will clearly outline its goals for the future and how it will achieve them. The essence of the plan will be to embrace changes in the healthcare system and take a leadership role to make those changes happen more quickly. KDH has moved away from a reliance on the traditional role of the acute care hospital, charting a path instead toward a broadly imagined health promotion hub capable of fulfilling its mandate of building healthier communities. The hospital’s CEO, Colin Goodfellow, explains: “Our job is to know we are not here to be a hospital, but to serve the healthcare needs of the community. We are looking at transitioning to tomorrow.”

As KDH’s current three year planning cycle is coming to an end, the hospital’s Board of Directors has been evaluating the success of the outgoing strategic plan. The 2009 to 2012 plan was built around supporting the work of the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN); the LHINs were put in place in 2006 to facilitate efficient and effective health service integration. KDH’s last plan outlined goals for modeling and enabling health system integration in three separate planes of services: population health; the KDH complex; and development of clinical partnerships. The plan also committed KDH to being a high performing organization.

Was it successful? The answer is yes, according to the Board. With respect to the population health plane, KDH’s diabetes education doubled its locations; additional primary care physicians were attracted to the hospital; and a second location, with the capacity for 20 family physicians, opened in Barrhaven in November, 2011. Core KDH complex activities outlined in the last strategic plan included the opening of a new 38,000 square foot, $23 million wing, which enabled the hospital to change its service profile, adding a mammography suite and total joint replacement program; this in turn resulted in the opening of 12 inpatient beds for post-surgical care. In this area of integration, KDH also acquired land to support the growth of the complex and developed a fully approved and county-endorsed plan for a seniors’ supported housing facility that is shovel ready, and waiting for the right funding environment. The third plane of health services outlined in the last strategic plan was development of clinical partnerships; much progress has been made in this area as well. KDH became part of the regional PACS data repository for medical record integration, with digital images read at Queensway Carleton Hospital. KDH is also a champion of the Ottawa Heart Institute’s clinical protocols for area patients and a Regional Orthopedic Focus site, and active on the regional palliative care planning team; in addition KDH has enabled numerous health service providers to offer local services to the people of Barrhaven and Manotick through the Rideau Valley Health Services Centre.

In terms of operating performance, service levels are rising in emergency visits, day surgery cases, and now, with the addition of postoperative inpatient care in the October 2011, inpatient days are increasing as well. Inpatient satisfaction averages 95 percent over the last four years, while ER patient satisfaction averages 91 percent. Staff satisfaction has risen steadily over the past five years and now averages 75 percent, approximately 10 percent above the industry average. KDH also consistently balances its budget.

KDH’s Board of Directors is pleased with the results achieved in the implementation of its 2009 to 2012 strategic plan, and is focused on continuing to try to move the healthcare system forward with the next strategic plan. “We’re very proud of what the hospital has accomplished in the past few years,” says Board Vice Chair Lis Angus, “We’ve increased the breadth of the services we provide, and we are becoming a hub for health in our community.”

KDH’s new strategic plan covers the period from 2012 to 2015. It’s difficult to predict what Ontario’s healthcare system will look like four years from now. The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has identified several possible models for structural reform, each of which will be carefully considered by the KDH Board of Directors. As Lana LeClair, KDH’s Manager of Corporate Affairs and Organizational Development, points out, in preparation of the last strategic plan KDH studied all the options for reform and positioned itself to respond to a number of different eventualities. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is the Chair of the hospital’s Board of Directors. “In today’s rapidly changing and politically charged healthcare environment,” he says, “our challenge is to stay relevant; we need to grow the variety of services KDH offers and increase the efficiency of service delivery.”

LeClair helps to facilitate the strategic planning process. She is passionate about making Ontario’s healthcare system patient-centric and committed to the strategic planning process, which includes visioning with the hospital’s Board of Directors, senior administrative and medical staff, the municipalities of North Grenville and Nepean-Carleton, and hub partners (Beth Donovan Hospice, Kemptville and District Home Support, etc). The process also includes participant surveys evaluating current strategic plan directions for ongoing viability, the drafting of a consultation document indicating key focus areas, and consultation with the Champlain LHIN. The new strategic plan is scheduled to be approved in April 2012.

KDH has a reputation for providing exceptional care for patients one-on-one. Its Board of Directors and administration are equally committed to making an important contribution to the health of the community as a whole. In an era when the traditional role of small hospitals – as acute care facilities – is in decline, KDH is envisioning a future as a broader outreach organization. Six years ago the hospital was slated to be turned into a long-term care facility; today it is transformed, thriving, and defining a new future.

If you would like to make comments or suggestions about hospital services, please contact Kemptville District Hospital Chief Executive Officer Colin Goodfellow at 613.258.6133 extension 132, or by email at cgoodfellow@kdh.on.ca.

ABOUT KEMPTVILLE DISTRICT HOSPITAL
Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is a fully accredited healthcare facility committed to building healthy communities. KDH offers a range of services based on advanced expertise, technologies and patient care practices. The emergency department is open around the clock and provides prompt medical attention. The use of new medical applications such as Tele-health and remote diagnostic imaging has made KDH a service leader in Eastern Ontario. Further, the surgical program at KDH provides timely access to high demand specialists, while the staff's dedication to patients has earned KDH a reputation for excellence in caring. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for patient satisfaction.

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Jennifer Read
Kemptville District Hospital
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