January & February 2017


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Welcome to Cambridge Memorial Hospital’s electronic newsletter, communit-E-cast.

It contains a collection of short write-ups we want to share with our friends and community partners. These anecdotes and stories are compiled from CMH’s weekly staff communication, e-Cast.

Communit-E-cast is usually published the last Friday of every second month (February, April, June, August, October, December) or the next business day if it falls on a holiday.

You can also connect with CMH through Twitter @_CMHospital and Facebook.

Happy New Year! When is the move?

Happy New Year to you and your family, and thank you for your continued readership. In December, our contractor let us know that they will hand over the new patient care wing to CMH at the end of June, 2017. While we are hopeful the contractor will have this phase of the project completed by then, our best estimate is that this will likely occur at the end of the summer, early fall. We are not worried about this moving target. As always, our priority is to ensure that we maintain exceptional patient care during this disruption and that the highest quality hospital is built for our community. One that will last for at least 50 years before a new wing is built to replace it!

Staircase before and after

Above is the staircase that will lead patients and visitors to Level 2 from the main lobby. Once we get possession of the new wing, we will have two months to commission it (test systems, install medical equipment, etc.) before we can begin to offer patient care. Once we do, our contractor will begin the third and last phase of the project, which is to completely renovate the existing Wing B to current hospital building codes.

CMH Pharmacy passes tough OCP inspection

In October, the Ontario College of Pharmacists conducted an assessment of CMH's pharmacy to see if it complied with new standards that are being imposed on all hospital pharmacies. This new hospital pharmacy accreditation was brought about by the diluted chemotherapy scandal from a few years. There were no surprises, many positives were noted by the auditors. The gaps that were found were related to the 'newest of the new' standards, rather than unmet safety protocols. It was also noted that our pharmacy is farther ahead than many other hospitals. Given the cost to modernize Ontario's hospital pharmacies, all will have a phase-in period with the intent of being fully compliant by 2019. If compliance is not met, there is a risk the pharmacy may lose the privilege of doing part of its practice, like preparing chemotherapy medication. Many thanks to our Pharmacy staff for their hard work in preparing for and working through this rigourous accreditation process. 

Click local coverage on this topic.

pharmacy team

Pharmacy team, circa 2013

CMH Study: New Parents' selection of Birthing Hospital

CMH is conducting a focus group to help enhance its obstetrical services. It is looking for new parents who had children between July and December 2016, live in Cambridge and chose another hospital for the birth of their child. If you know of anyone meeting all these criteria, please forward this link from our website. The focus group will occur on January 10, 2017 between 1030 and 1200 noon. Pre-Registration is required. For more information, please email PatientRelations@cmh.org.

Mom and baby

Monthly Financial Statements - October 2016

This information is taken from a briefing note submitted to the Board’s Resources Committee. It is usually publically available as part of the Board of Directors agenda package at their bi-monthly meeting. The Board of Directors met on November 30. 

Important Numbers

  • $1.27M:  The surplus amount the hospital is forecast for fiscal year 2016-17, which is slightly higher than originally anticipated for the year. The hospital is at a year-to-date (YTD) surplus $1.1 M and is on-track to meeting its forecasted goal.
  • $153 K:  CMH had an operating surplus for the month of October.


  • We continue to make progress with our sick and overtime budget. YTD, we have spent $286K on sick time whereas last year, same time we spent $912K.
  • Our quality based procedure (QBP) volumes for hips and knees are within 10% of target. Cataracts are below 14% of targets. Out QBPs are expected to be realized by the end of the year.
  • Volumes in the month of October are less than YTD averages. Surgery is the volume for the month is 5% less than the average for the year. In October, the Emergency Department saw on average 148 patients, which is the same YTD last year.   

CMH's HSMR improves dramatically

The Canadian Institute for Health Information refreshed their "Your Health System" website Nov. 30, posting new numbers for three indicators. The refresh reflects the 2015-16 for Hospital Standardized Mortality Rate (HSMR), total time spent from triage to admission, and time spent waiting for physician initial assessment. CMH's HSMR, which was first made public last year, improved to an 'above average' rate of 80 from 111. This is better than the national rate of 93 and Ontario's 91. Collectively, the Waterloo Wellington region had the best HSMR in all of Ontario at 77 and also ranked first in emergency wait times. 

This is a great testament to our staff and physicians' relentless focus on providing high quality, exceptional healthcare. Click here to read the local coverage

Emergency Nurses during Emergency Nursing Week

Our awesome Emergency Nurses during Emergency Nursing Week 2016.

CMH continues to be a Best Practice Spotlight Organization

CMH has maintained its Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario's  Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) designation! Since 2003, CMH has implemented 19 Best Practice Guidelines. These evidence based guidelines go a long way to reducing harm in a hospital, In CIHI's recent report on hospital harm (see technical report, page 3), many of the 31 types of harm measured in hospitals (e.g., falls, pressure ulcers, etc.), are mitigated by the very BPSO guidelines implemented at this hospital.

The BPSO Working Group, pictured below, monitors CMH BPG implementation and sustainability activities. This year, nursing staff in the Women’s and Children’s program will be focusing on the Safe Sleep best practice guideline.

BPSO designation

(L to R) Loretta McCormick, Lynn Nichols, Nancy Easton, Emily MacDougall and Karen Cziraki

Mock code green evacuation a success

On December 15, CMH carried out its yearly, mandatory mock code green evaluation on B5 north medicine that was evaluated by the Cambridge Fire Services (CFS). It involved the horizontal evacuation of 22 patients, including 7 non-ambulatory (i.e., patients confined to beds), past the first set of fire separation doors and away from a simulated blazing inferno. The Medicine team and supporting staff on the floor did an amazing job of safely moving volunteer patients away from the danger, to the full satisfaction of CFS in a time of less than 6 minutes. This is very good considering the time allotment for a pass is 20 minutes! At the same time, our command centre's processes were evaluated from an Incident Management System perspective by the City of Cambridge's Gina Cliffe, Manager of Community Emergency Planning, which also passed the muster. Both exercises served to strengthen CMH's processes should a real incident occur.

mock code green