August 7, 2014 5:04 pm

New MUHC initiative at Montreal General Hospital proving successful

A new MUHC initiative is helping the Montreal General Hospital to reduce wait times and improve its services.

Sebastien Dorval-Gagnon/Global News

MONTREAL — When Easton Dennis was brought to his new hospital room on Wednesday, he was pleasantly surprised to find a whiteboard hanging over his bed.

“I was very impressed yesterday morning. I looked at it and I said, ‘It’s outstanding,'” Easton Dennis, a patient at the Montreal General Hospital, told Global News.

White boards have replaced traditional paper files that used to be hung up on patients’ doors.

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Now if Easton wants to know who his doctor is, or what phone number friends and family can reach him at, all he has to do is look up.

It’s all part of a new initiative at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) known as transforming care at the bedside, or TCAB; where staff and patient representatives work together to find ways to improve hospital services.

“They know what works well, and they know what doesn’t work well,” said Sophie Baillargeon, a nurse at the hospital.

“They have ideas. They know how things could be improved.”

The idea is to see care through the patients’ eyes. The point of the white boards, for instance, is to ensure that patients have access to any information they might need.

TCAB is also trying to tackle long wait times. With TCAB “parking stations,” equipment is left at a designated place in the hall so nurses don’t have to go looking for it.

“Rather than having to fish for it, which could take 20 minutes, and in the case where it’s an emergency, that could be pretty serious,” explained Joan Legair, another nurse at the hospital. “It has a spot, so it could take under a minute to grab it.”

She said that time adds up, and thanks to these stations, nurses have more of it to spend with patients.

Due to the changes, the hospital is now seeing major results. It has managed to reduce admission times from four hours to one, and it has seen a 60 per cent drop in medication transcription errors.

Patients say these changes go a long way.

“I know what doctors and nurses I’m going to have during the day,” said Dennis. “This is very admirable, very admirable; it’s outstanding.”

This week the MUHC will be presenting TCAB at the 6th International Family and Patient Centered Conference in Vancouver, hoping to inspire other hospitals across the country.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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