Cornwall – January 9, 2014 – The numbers speak volumes. Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) is an acute care, teaching hospital with 137 beds, and an emergency department that sees over 60,000 visits per year. Introducing new technology and services has only elevated the amount of people coming through the doors, and yet, despite this increase, the figures reveal that CCH has actually become a safer place to go for treatment.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), CCH has improved its hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR), or number of deaths in a hospital, to be below the national and provincial averages. HSMR is a performance indicator which allows hospitals to measure and monitor their progress in improving overall quality of care. In the case of HSMR, lower is always better. A ratio lower than 100 means that a hospital is performing better than the average, whereas a ratio higher than 100 means a hospital’s death rate is higher than normal. With the national average at 85 (excludes Quebec), CCH comes in at a healthy 76 on the HSMR scale. Since the HSMR was first made public in 2007, it has served as an important tool for hospitals to see if their improvement strategies, such as hand hygiene promotion and enhanced communication between hospital staff, are working, or if there are areas where they can still do better. “Knowing the data makes a huge difference. If you measure it, you can manage it. We need to know how safe we are and how we compare to other hospitals of a similar size. Front and centre on our corporate scorecard of quality and safety indicators is HSMR and we are glad to see that our efforts are affecting healthy change,” said Judy Kyte, Patient Safety Coordinator.
When it comes to data, the statistics say CCH is number one in terms of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) wait times in Ontario. Currently, nine out of ten patients have their MRI procedures completed in 18 days in Cornwall. That equates to 64 days less wait, or having your scan more than two months sooner than the provincial average of 82 days. Since April 2013 until November 2014, the Diagnostic Centre of Excellence has performed over 5,000 MRI scans with a mean distribution of 280 per month. CCH patients can also anticipate having their computerized tomography (CT) scans four days sooner than the provincial average of 33 days. “Having to book any hospital procedure can be a nervous time in someone’s life. Being able to perform the scans locally and as soon as possible can alleviate some of that stress as the patient knows their results will be returned earlier and they can progress with their plan of care,” said Jennifer Barkley, Director of Diagnostic Services.
There’s safety in numbers. CCH continues to strive to surpass its patient safety and wait time targets while dealing with higher than normal volumes of patients. Emergency department wait times for complex conditions, which are measured by when the patient is registered to the point when they are discharged, continue to be lower than the average set by Ontario hospitals, and infection control rates remain among the lowest in the region.
For more information on wait times, data, and the top 15 health indicators that Canadians feel are important, please visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website at www.health.gov.on.ca, or through CIHI’s web tool at www.yourhealthsystem.cihi.ca.