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Award Recipients 2006


Ann Brignell, RN CHPCN(C) is currently employed by St. Joseph’s Health Care London serving the communities of Kent and Lambton Counties utilizing her palliative care expertise in her role, educating and mentoring front-line health care providers , with the Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultation Program (PPSMCP) of Southwestern Ontario.

During Ann’s 30 years of practicing palliative care, she has had (and continues to have) significant influence in helping to shape hospice palliative care within Erie St. Clair and beyond. One of Ann’s greatest strengths is her ability to inspire and influence others to provide high quality care. Affecting real system level improvement requires having influence across all sectors of the system. Ann’s recognized expertise and experience serves as the foundation of this influence, and she pushes system-wide improvement by consistently focusing on the needs of the patient/family at every stage of their journey.

Quality – Team

Time to Treat: A System Redesign for Patients with Suspected Lung Cancer
Toronto East General Hospital

Team members: Jacinta Meharchand, Robert Zeldin, Ian Fraser, Larissa Maxwell, Geordie Fallis

This team represents family physicians, respirologists, surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists with a common vision of improving the quality of care for patients with suspected lung cancer. This project was a collaborative effort, recognizing the complexity and the systemic nature of the problem. Participating health providers in the project included: Toronto East General, Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre, TEGH Family Health Centre, Flemington Health Centre, Victoria Health Centre and Albany Medical Clinic. Based on a shared appreciation of the importance of rapid access to integrated care, his team engaged in a system redesign to reduce diagnosis and treatment waiting times for patients with suspected lung cancer. This first objective of the innovative time to treat project was to significantly reduce the time to diagnosis and treatment for this population. Through system redesign, this pilot project aimed to reduce wait times at each point along the trajectory from suspicion to treatment of lung cancer. The second objective was to link the community to the regional cancer centre for access to a multidisciplinary team, clinical trials psychological support and resources.

Innovation – Individual

Claudette Delenardo
Grand River Hospital, Patient Portal (My CARE)

Claudette DeLenardo, manager of e-health technologies, won the award for development of the My Care Source, an online patient portal used by close to 1,000 patients of the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre. Patients can use the secure portal to see their treatment plan, make appointments, understand potential side-effects and symptoms learn about community resources and write a diary. Grand River launched the portal in 2004 with 20 breast cancer patients. It has since expanded to about 17 cancer types, DeLenardo said.

Web Publishing, Radiation Medicine Program
University Health Network, Princess Margaret Hospital

Team members: Michael Sharpe, Gavin Disney, Paul Homer, Igor Svistoun, Terry Michaelson, Stuart Rose, David Jaffray

For radiation therapy, computer-aided treatment planning is essential in the implementation of a medical prescription. Planning is highly tailored for each individual patient. Completed plans require multi-disciplinary review and approval by therapists, physicists, and oncologists to insure the plan is safe, feasible, and structured to fulfill the prescription.

Ultimately, elements of the plan control the treatment machine, but connections to these systems have lacked facilities to support the actual plan review process. This resulted in an inefficient paper-based process for plan documentation, distribution, and approval. The Radiation Medicine Program at University Health Netowork recognized this gap, and the Web Publishing Team responded by developing a paperless system for treatment plan review and approval. This secure web-based software application provides a central paperless repository for capturing and storing documents generated in the planning of external beam radiotherapy, brachytherapy, and gamma-knife radiosurgery treatments. Documents are collated and made available to the treatment team for quality assurance review and approvals. A conventional internet-based web browser provides quick and easy access to treatment plans, from any location with access to the hospital network.

A reduced need for colour printers and paper consumption was an important result of adopting this online system, but the main benefits come from rapid communication, simultaneous access by all staff, and the ability to capture usage information and identify bottlenecks. The knowledge gained from examining this information also provides feedback for improving workflow. Primarily, the project has promoted inter-discipline collaboration to identify the workflow. Indirectly, this spirit has carried into all aspects of developing treatment plans. It has influenced process documentation and the development of common guidelines in all of our treatment teams.