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GRH seen as provider of safe and compassionate care; actions for other improvements underway
February 8 2012

Members of the general public have given high marks to Grand River Hospital for providing safe and compassionate care to area patients. The results were in two community engagement surveys held in the Waterloo Region in 2011. GRH conducted the telephone surveys with the support of a third-party research provider.

“Our hospital has conducted these community surveys to determine both the areas where we are doing well, and the areas we can improve on,” said D’Arcy Delamere, chair of the GRH Board. “While we hear from our patients regularly, we also wanted to learn about how residents see the hospital, and how we can improve given GRH’s important role in supporting our growing region.”

The surveys last year involved interviews with 792 randomly-selected people in the spring and 500 people in the fall. Overall, respondents in the surveys had strong confidence in the following aspects of GRH:
  • 91 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed that patients receive care in a safe and secure environment at GRH;
  • 90 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed that patients receive safe care at GRH;
  • 88 per cent were strongly or somewhat satisfied with staff members’ and physicians’ provision of care at the hospital; and
  • 88 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed that GRH staff provide compassionate care.

Residents’ concerns focused on the following aspects:
  • 60 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed that non-emergency services are provided within reasonable waits;
  • 41 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed that emergency department services were provided within reasonable waits. The emergency department is a key point of access for GRH, with 60,000 patient visits every year;
  • Only 25 per cent of residents reported receiving non-medical community information from the hospital; and
  • Residents were concerned with parking, reporting dis-satisfaction with the availability (26 per cent), cost (45 per cent) and convenience (28 per cent) of parking.

“Hearing about areas for improvement has helped our organization focus on making changes that will improve patients’ and families’ satisfaction with our hospital. Our hospital provides a wide range of specialized programs for our communities, and everyone providing care is dedicated to continuous improvement,” added GRH president and CEO Malcolm Maxwell.

GRH’s areas of focus will include the following:
  • Adding new inpatient medicine, intensive care and mental health beds, helping to ease emergency department congestion;
  • Continuing the work of an emergency department task group to put in place changes that shorten emergency waits and improve patient comfort when a wait is unavoidable;
  • Making parking changes that include increasing on-site patient and visitor parking by moving more staff parking off the campus, ensuring parking rates are equitable with municipalities and post-secondary institutions, improving access to reduced-rate parking for chronic patients and longer-term visitors to the hospital, and spending $3.2 million over the next five years to improve parking facilities and equipment; and
  • Developing new communications approaches to both information to and receive feedback from patients, families and stakeholders.

GRH will also use feedback in the community survey as part of its new strategic direction for 2012 to 2015, which is now under development. The hospital will continue conducting surveys in the spring and fall for the next two years.
A summary report is available in a PDF document. Please click here to view it.

For more information, please contact:
Mark Karjaluoto, Director of Communications
Office: (519) 749-4300 extension 2788
Pager: (519) 244-3088
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