Your safety is our top priority at Oak Valley Health and we have many processes in place to keep you safe.

Surgical Safety Checklist

The Surgical Safety Checklist is a communication tool used by the health care team in the operating room. In 2007, Oak Valley Health became one of the first community hospital organizations in Canada to implement the Surgical Safety Checklist. We focus not only on completing the items on the checklist; we also routinely audit the process for quality of information provided by the team members. You will hear the team sharing information when you enter the operating room during the briefing phase of the checklist and we encourage you to be a part of the conversation. Feel free to speak up and add information if you feel it necessary.

National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

Oak Valley Health was an early adopter of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) in Ontario and has been a member since 2012. As part of the program, we monitor the quality of our surgical program and patient outcomes monthly and use this information to create a Surgical Quality Improvement Plan every year. This yearly plan guides us in our program planning. We report our plan and our outcomes to Health Quality Ontario.

On November 2, 2018, Oak Valley Health was presented with the Health Quality Ontario SQIN Interprofessional Team Award. This is presented to the “surgical team who has assembled a professionally diverse group that includes not only the surgeons and surgical clinical reviewers, but also representation from leaders and front line staff.”

Reduction of wait times

Our surgical program is committed to creating innovative ways to reduce wait times for surgery and get you the care you need faster. We are proud to have one of the best wait times in the province of Ontario for cancer surgery.

We have also implemented a rapid assessment centre – the Orthopaedic Joint Assessment Centre (OJAC) – a centralized intake model for patients needing orthopaedic hip and knee surgery. This allows you to be seen within two weeks of receiving your referral from your family doctor.

We are proud to share that our wait times for hip and knee replacement surgery meet and exceed the Ontario requirement.

Surgical quality committee

The surgical program created a quality committee that is interdisciplinary and involves team members from all areas of the surgical program as well as Patient Experience Participants (PEPs). The committee reviews the quality of the program and any quality concerns or projects. Recommendations are made for program planning, including areas of focus with best practice recommendations.

Surgical site infection reduction

While surgical site infection is always a risk of surgery, our focus is always on reducing these types of infections to as low a risk as possible. As part of this focus, we have invested in many interventions to reduce this risk.

Some of the interventions we include are:

  • Appropriate antibiotic use and dosage during surgery and after
  • Evidence-based surgical skin preparation
  • Warming blankets while in surgery
  • A review of lifestyle risk factors for infection such as smoking, nutrition and blood sugar management for diabetic patients
  • Provision of preoperative shower kits to high-risk surgical patients, to take home to use prior to the day of surgery

Sterility of surgical supplies

Staff in the Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD) are experts in sterility and ensuring all equipment is sterile prior to use in surgery. Our entire team in MDRD has formal sterile supply processing education from accredited colleges and the Medical Device Processing Association of Ontario (MDRAO).