English Posts

The Purple Cow

Working in health care, we are forever under the microscope. This results in a climate where we are constantly trying to improve ways of doing things, so that our patients, residents and clients receive superior care. As I thought about this it made me think of the marketing concept known as the purple cow effect. Author Seth Godin coined the term when he explained that to be successful, one ought to be remarkable, not in the conventional sense of being noteworthy or interesting, but quite literally, by doing something that people remark on. In his view, in a pasture of …

READ MORE →
English Posts

When staff “get it”

Often, when we think of the most fragile members of society, we tend to think of newborns or infants who, would not thrive—or possibly even survive— without our care. But what about the elderly? I’ve spoken in a past post about our aging population, but how many of us truly understand the additional care and attention that are needed by many of our seniors? Last weekend, 66 residents from the Henri Bradet Residential Centre moved to the Jewish General Hospital for 12 to 18 months while the Centre is being renovated. The care that staff took was nothing short of …

READ MORE →
English Posts

Why I’m so happy about accomplishing “nothing”

Usually, when someone asks you to scale something from zero to 10, the higher the number, the greater the level of satisfaction. However, last week our CIUSSS achieved something so truly outstanding that we got a zero—and I’m thrilled! On May 15, we launched a week-long pilot project entitled “Zero Emergency Department (ED) patients over 24 hours”, the culmination of almost a year of planning. The mission that we embarked on was to ensure that no patient stayed in the JGH Emergency Department for more than 24 hours. Patients were either admitted to the hospital, or seen and discharged. The …

READ MORE →
English Posts

Jobs to be done

We live in an age of surveys, with marketers constantly asking us our age, gender and personal preferences. All the while, they hope this information will unlock the key to edging out their competitors, once and for all. If we apply this trend to health care, we can agree that some of this information could prove useful, but is it going to help us provide the best possible experience for our patients, clients and residents? The simple answer is – no. A favourite author of mine, Clayton M. Christensen, wrote in 2016 that instead of focusing on demographic or psychographic …

READ MORE →
English Posts

The Helpers

Like all of you, I have listened with sadness to the stories of Quebecers who have been affected by the flooding these past weeks. The loss, as we know, is widespread—from personal belongings to homes and even life. Many members of our network’s staff come from the areas that have been hardest hit. This week, I learned of employees who have lost everything. But as I read about these tragedies, other emails started to trickle in—emails of hope. Each told of staffers who had decided to give of their time to fill sandbags, or to donate food or clothing. In …

READ MORE →
English Posts

Grappling with the ever-increasing needs of the elderly

One day last week, while reading the morning’s top news stories, I was fascinated to discover that we’d arrived at a turning point that’s been anticipated for years. There, in black and white, were some key figures from Statistics Canada’s 2016 census: The number of seniors in our country (5.9 million) has officially exceeded the number of people 14 years old and younger (5.8 million). Statistics Canada also projected—as gerontologists and demographers have been telling us for two or three decades—that this lop-sided situation will become even more glaring as more of the baby boom generation hits retirement age. As …

READ MORE →
English Posts

Better health care through collaboration

Last Monday, along with our partners at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, Sainte Justine Hospital and the CHUM, we unveiled the TransMedTech Institute. This collaborative project will see us develop superior designs and methods to treat three areas that pose major health risks for Canadians: cancer, cardiovascular illnesses and musculoskeletal disorders. The Jewish General Hospital, a key facility in CIUSSS West-Central Montreal, is proud to play a crucial role in the area that focuses on cancer. This marks not only the first time that all of these organizations have come together on a project, but the first project of its …

READ MORE →
English Posts

The art of the huddle

Ask someone what they associate with the word “huddle”, and nine times out of ten, they’ll say “football”. However, in the last few years, that has begun to change. On my recent trip to Yale New Haven Health, when I received an invitation to the morning huddle, I wasn’t being asked to suit up for a friendly game. Rather, I was welcomed to participate in the daily patient safety report. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived the next morning at 8:00 a.m. As I sat there, senior leaders, nursing directors, middle managers and department chairs came in, …

READ MORE →
English Posts

Dr. Mark Wainberg: an exceptional man

For those of us who observe Passover, celebrating with family and friends is a focal point of the holiday. Together, as we sit around the Seder table, we read the Haggadah and relive the chronicle of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Our wine glasses are filled, emptied and filled once again- four times. However, at the centre of the table, one wine-filled cup remains untouched—reserved for the prophet Elijah. According to a centuries-old tradition, the contents of this special cup are never consumed. Instead, it sits ceremoniously and symbolically, representing staying power, perseverance, in anticipation of the Messianic times to …

READ MORE →
English Posts

The meaning of change

Ten years ago, if your family lived abroad, the only ways to stay in touch were by phone, email or snail mail. Today we can also take advantage of Skype or FaceTime to maintain or rekindle a closeness that would have been inconceivable a decade earlier. These same kinds of advances are being made in health care. On a recent trip to Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut, I was privy to some major technological advances, including the InSight Tele-ICU. In what looked like a command centre, physicians, nurses and other healthcare staff sat at computer workstations and remotely monitored …

READ MORE →