Hospital receives grant

Rouge Valley Health System’s new program prioritizes surgical wait times

A new program designed by a team from the Rouge Valley Health System (RVHS) will ensure priority patients receive their surgeries first.

“This new program is about equity and fairness to make sure that you get your surgery when you need it,” said Renate Ilse, RVHS’s program director of surgery, endoscopy and central processing.

Ilse was part of the team that came up with this idea. She said the current process of manually booking surgeries through a doctor’s assistant is very difficult.

Five factors to determine surgery date:

  • Doctor’s availability
  • Operating room schedule
  • Patient availability
  • Other patients on the list
  • Rules already implemented by the government

Many factors need to be considered when booking a surgery and sometimes the decision might be too difficult for secretaries, according to Ilse.

She said some were unintentionally booking lower priority patients before higher priority patients.

Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) donated the $10,000 grant to create RVHS’s new computer program. The grant was awarded during the CCO’s annual Chief Information Officer Day on Feb. 10.

Rick Skinner, vice president and chief information officer at CCO, said this program will help hospitals use their surgical resources more efficiently.

“It’s using [available] technology and information to optimize our health care system, both from the perspective of the patient and the health care system [itself],” Skinner said.

The program is not yet in place, but Ilse said they are hoping to begin using it within six months. They will have to present their progress at next year’s Chief Information Officer Day.

RVHS will be the first hospital system to use the program.

One of the unique things about Canada, particularly Ontario, is that all of our hospitals have the same problem. So, we’ve already been told by CCO and several other hospitals that if it works, they want it,” Ilse said.

Rouge Valley operates the Rouge Valley Centenary in Scarborough and Rouge Valley in Durham.