2010-2011 Highlights

It’s been a memorable year at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). We reached many milestones in patient care, service excellence and health care innovation. As a result, we continue to elevate the quality of care that we provide to the more than 1.2 million residents we serve across Eastern Ontario.

Here is a snapshot:

New Pre-Admission Unit

In April the new Pre-Admission Unit (PAU) welcomed its first patients. The new unit is six times larger than the one before. It is a welcome change for the nurses, anaesthesiologists, general practitioners and clerks who prepare 40 to 50 patients per day for surgical procedures at the General Campus. The new space includes a large private waiting area, a consult room adjacent to the waiting room, 11 interview rooms, a large reception area, a central work area for the team, an education room, and a staff lounge. The PAU’s patient-centered design enhances patient privacy and contributes to the high quality of care TOH provides.

Improved pharmacy infrastructure

To better serve the needs of patients TOH transformed the pharmacy, which supplies medication and drug information to General Campus clinical units and modules. It grew by about 30 per cent, has upgraded rooms, and better inventory and receiving areas.

Brand new website

TOH and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) launched new websites this year. The new sites were built on four principles: they are patient and user-centered, bilingual, accessible, and dynamic. The sites make it easy for visitors to learn about the hospital’s programs and services, find directions, contact physicians and researchers by name and specialty program, and identify career opportunities. The sites also invite visitors to share feedback and patient stories.


TOH has 18 accreditation teams who ensure we meet and surpass Accreditation Canada’s standards of excellence. Accreditation Canada’s visit of TOH took place from May 9 to 14, 2010. The organization interviewed patients, staff, volunteers and physicians about how we meet the standards, and how well we provide safe, high-quality patient care. Accreditation Canada determined that TOH met or exceeded 96 per cent of its quality dimensions.

CyberKnife, a revolution in precision radiosurgery

In September 2010, TOH launched CyberKnife, the world’s only robotic radiosurgery system. CyberKnife requires no scalpels or incisions. The robotic arm uses image-guided software to deliver hundreds of beams of high-dose radiation directly into a tumour with surgical precision, even accounting for the movement that results from a patient’s breathing. It allows the treatment of previously inoperable cancers, sparing healthy tissue and reducing side effects. CyberKnife also frees up treatment time on other radiotherapy machines, allowing the hospital to treat more patients.

University of Ottawa Skills and Simulation Centre (uOSSC)

Opened in October 2010, the uOSSC provides world-class, hands-on education with no patient risk, thus improving patient safety and quality care. Simulation includes a wide range of education and research tools including lifelike imitation body parts and virtual reality trainers. Full body mannequin simulators breathe, have pulses, and heart beats. Most importantly, they respond accurately to medication, fluids and chest compressions. These computer-driven mannequins recreate in-patient, emergency room, intensive care unit and operating room environments, providing health-care professionals with a safe place to learn new skills, along with the latest innovations in medical practice.

Healthier cafeteria

TOH opened the Tulip Café, unveiling a new look, healthy menu and more environmentally friendly initiatives. The café features a revamped menu, digital menu boards, healthier food options with accompanying nutritional information, and green initiatives such as composting and recycling. The Tulip Café incorporates the signature apple icon, a symbol created with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to identify healthier choices in hospital cafeterias across the region.

Achievements in green health care

The TOH Green Team recently won the 2010 Ontario Hospital Association’s (OHA) Health Achieve Award for Overall Leadership. This year we were honoured for our successful projects in waste management, energy efficiency, communication and awareness, as well as community involvement. Practice Greenhealth also recently awarded our Green Team with a Partner for Change Award, which recognizes facilities that achieve continuous improvement in environmental performance.

Canadian Forces recognition

In April, Commodore Hans Jung, the Canadian Forces Surgeon General, presented TOH with the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service. TOH has a longstanding relationship with the Canadian Forces and recently expanded its support to deliver high-quality trauma care, surgical services, and rehabilitation to wounded soldiers returning from the field. Presented for outstanding service by a hospital outside of the military community, the medallion is proudly displayed at TOH.

Better, cancer care, closer to home

The Pembroke Regional Hospital and The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Program teamed up to open a Systemic Therapy (Chemotherapy) Satellite Service in Pembroke. The service involves both chemotherapy and medical day care services for cancer patients such as blood transfusions and pain management. Patients are referred to the new clinic by an oncologist in Ottawa, improving accessibility of care and decreasing travel time for patients in our community. The new Systemic Care Treatment Centre at the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) was also unveiled, a satellite of the Ottawa Regional Systemic Therapy Program, which is part of The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Program. Patients will be referred by an oncologist located in Ottawa, but will now be able to receive treatment in Hawkesbury, eliminating the stress of travel during trying times.

Better care for victims of abuse

The Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program is led by Advanced Practice Nurse Janet Brownlee, a trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, as well as Dr. Kari Sampsel, Medical Director. In the past year, the on-call nursing team recruited and trained new members, enabling the TOH program to provide 24/7 support and meet its commitment of providing crucial services to 90 per cent of clients within one hour of a nurse being called. Between April 2010 and March 2011, the program cared for 147 new cases of sexual assault and 50 new cases of partner abuse.