GBGH remembers a year of important accomplishments and momentous milestones
December 22, 2022 – As 2022 draws to a close, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is taking a look back at some of the hospital’s notable accomplishments and milestones reached this year.
“Over the past year, GBGH has continued to experience growth and change as we adjust to a new normal working among ongoing challenges like a pandemic spanning nearly three years, a nation-wide health human resources shortage and unprecedented patient volumes at our hospital,” says Matthew Lawson, president and CEO, GBGH. “At the same time, the GBGH team has demonstrated exceptional resilience and commitment to our community and patients. I must thank them for all their efforts which have contributed to some exceptional accomplishments in the last year. ”
MRI Operational Funding Approval
On December 15, it was announced GBGH had received approval for operating funds to begin Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services. Prior to the announcement, GBGH was the largest acute care hospital in Ontario without an operating or approved MRI. Having an MRI at GBGH is an another opportunity to bring care closer to home for nearly 4000 residents annually who will not need to travel as far or wait as long for this important procedure. GBGH’s future MRI will not only serve the hospital’s immediate community, it will assist in adding capacity to the system which reduces wait times across the region. GBGH will have to undergo some renovations to existing space to accommodate the new equipment and is committed to completing this work as quickly as possible pending further government approvals and the construction process. Given that government funding covers only the operations of the MRI, the GBGH Foundation will be working with the community and donors to raise the necessary capital funds to purchase and install a brand new MRI.
Rocket Doctor Partnership
In the spring, GBGH and Rocket Doctor entered into an innovative new partnership to provide an alternative option to the hospital’s Emergency department (ED) for low acuity illness. In the absence of every patient having readily accessible primary care or physical walk-in clinics in our community, access to Rocket Doctor’s same-day and next day appointment services has provided patients with the option to avoid the hospital when they can be well-served through this virtual service. Within the first four months of the partnership, more than 1,100 patients – who would have otherwise attended the GBGH Emergency department for their minor illness or condition – were instead able to be seen virtually by a physician. Patient feedback from the partnership has been positive since this alternative option was available to our community.
MDRD Project & Surgical Expansion
Throughout 2022, GBGH has invested in equipment and optimizing its two operating rooms to expand the surgical program in alignment with the needs of our community. Part of this investment has included the completion of a major renovation to the Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD), where the hospital’s instruments, equipment and devices are sterilized to uphold the highest standards of safety. GBGH has been successful in its strategy to grow surgical volumes by investing in equipment, broadening the range services provided and optimizing its operating rooms. Finalizing the new state-of-the-art MDRD project complements the hospital’s ongoing surgical expansion plans. During the last six months, surgical volumes at GBGH have reached 163 per cent of pre-pandemic levels meaning less travel and shorter wait times for local residents.
Freshflex was launched at GBGH to bring patients an innovative new menu system built on the belief that fresh, flavourful and nutritious meals are an important part of everyone’s healthcare journey. The Freshflex program prioritizes excellent food presentation, a wide variety of foods and delivering meals on real (unbreakable) dishes to provide a much improved dining experience for our patients. The project involved the purchase and installation of new equipment through funds raised by the GBGH Foundation. Since the new menu was launched, food satisfaction scores have increased to 94 per cent from approximately 60 per cent previously.
In June, GBGH opened a Prenatal Clinic to provide high quality, standardized care closer to home for pregnant women in the North Simcoe community it serves. The clinic, which operates weekly at GBGH, is available to women in our community with or without a primary care provider to ensure all have access to comprehensive prenatal care. Dr. Chevy (Jan) Moreau, who joined GBGH last fall as the Chief of Obstetrics, has been a dedicated proponent of adding this service as part of the Birthing program’s growth.
GBGH officially opened its new Dialysis unit in Midland at 611 Prospect Boulevard. Formerly provided at the hospital’s Penetanguishene site, Dialysis services were permanently relocated to Midland in February 2022 after a four-year approval and construction process. The new site is bright and modern with state-of-the-art technology to serve Dialysis patients for decades to follow. The new space also includes private treatment spaces for each patient and additional room to increase capacity as community demand for enhanced kidney care grows.
Foundation Equipment Purchases
Thanks to the generous support of the community through the hospital’s Foundation, GBGH was able to invest in new equipment this year, including a new ultrasound table and probes, a bladder scanner for the ED and Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and a hematology (blood) analyzer for the Lab.
GBGH completed a comprehensive employee survey to determine how team members feel about working at GBGH. The most common themes confirmed by the survey results included high scores in the areas of teamwork (working together, feeling of belonging), staff understanding expectations and relationships with leaders.
Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, GBGH
705-526-1300 ext 5177