GRH surgical oncologist introduces small-incision liver surgery to Waterloo Region
Dr. Mohamed Husien is a surgical
oncologist at Grand River Hospital.
Smaller incisions have brought more comfort to select liver cancer surgery patients, thanks to Dr. Mohamed Husien.
A surgical oncologist and specialist in liver and pancreatic procedures,
Dr. Husien has started providing laparoscopic liver cancer surgery at Grand River Hospital this summer. The procedure involves small incisions and specialized instruments to remove cancerous portions of a patient’s liver.
While GRH has provided laparoscopic surgery for years, Dr. Husien’s procedure is a first for liver cancer patients in the region.
“In conventional liver cancer surgery, we would require an incision across the abdomen of 25 to 30 centimetres,” he explains. “A laparoscopic procedure requires an incision of only six or seven centimetres, just the size of a hand. Through this, we are able to remove masses of two to three pounds.”
For patients whose cases can be treated this way, smaller incisions mean a much more comfortable experience.
“We began providing this procedure when we could find sufficient evidence showing the outcomes would be equal to or better than conventional procedures,” adds Dr. Husien. “Patients generally experience less pain, a shorter hospital stay by one or two days and a faster overall recovery.”
Grand River Hospital plays a vital role in surgical oncology, and is the region’s centre for complex hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery. Surgical care is an integral part of the hospital’s cancer program.
“GRH is working to be competitive with other cancer centres in Ontario in providing highly-specialized care. We want to ensure patients have high-quality procedures with excellent outcomes, closer to home,” says Dr. Husien.
Improving medication care… improving surgical outcomes
Inpatient surgery registered practical nurse Justine Kniechewsky prepares medication in the unit’s new quiet “no interruption” zone.
GRH is borrowing from the hotel industry to cut medication errors, with strategically-placed “do not disturb” signs when staff are doing critical work.
“Most people who arrive for surgery, whether planned or emergent, are concentrating on the actual procedure,” says Robinne Hauck, program director of the surgical program. “Our focus on the inpatient surgery unit is to provide safe, effective care before, during and after their procedure and this includes how medication is managed on the unit.”
Grand River Hospital’s surgical inpatient program has developed a unique and easy solution to improve overall care and safety by changing how medication is prepared for patients.
While managing the care for high volumes of patients, staff on the bustling unit identified that nursing staff dealt with multiple interactions at the same time as they’re entering medication orders or getting medication ready for patients.
Staff analyzed total medication errors over a three month period on the surgical inpatient unit. The study revealed that up to a third of the mistakes were linked to distractions from avoidable interruptions.
Staff members have created a “No Interruption” policy, that uses signs and special uniforms to identify areas in which staff are not to be interrupted while doing certain work.
Areas where surgical staff members are preparing medications for patients are indicated through “no interruption” signs. Additionally, care providers updating medication orders onto patients’ charts wear clothing that clearly identifies them to ensure they are not disturbed while performing vital work that involves intense concentration.
“We’ll be reviewing our error rates again in a few months to see if we’ve achieved this goal,” says Robinne. “Changes like these are simple to implement and can have a great deal of impact on improving patient safety. Staff are better able to focus on the task at hand and provide safer care.”
New wheelchairs arrive at GRH
Patients at GRH are getting around with more zing these days, thanks to 21 new Staxi® transport wheelchairs!
|Sandy Osmond shows one of GRH’s new transport wheelchairs which provide patients with a safer, more comfortable way of getting around the hospital.
The hospital has a high demand for wheelchairs. GRH staff worked hard to choose the right chairs for patients’ wide-ranging needs. The new chairs arrived in July.
“The designers put a lot of thought into what patients need and how a wheelchair can help,” says Sandy Osmond, the customer service specialist at GRH’s KW Site.
The transport chairs look much different than a traditional wheelchair. For example, the frame of the new wheelchair provides a firm but comfortable seat for patients. Standard wheelchairs have a leather seat that can sag over time.
The transport chairs don’t collapse but “nest” like grocery carts, saving space in the busy KW Site front lobby. Footrests that would disappear from previous chairs are permanently installed on the new chairs.
Conventional wheelchairs have two brakes that the operator must remember to engage, and can wear out after on-going use. The Staxi chairs use one brake that automatically engages, and is easily released via a lawn mower-like handle. The brake is designed to last longer.
“There’s a bit of a learning curve for using the chairs,” adds Sandy. “But our volunteers have helped patients with the chairs get where they’re going. Our conventional wheelchairs still have clinical value so we will maintain a mix of inventory.”
The GRH Foundation would like to thank local service clubs and many community donors for supporting the purchase of these new wheelchairs at GRH.
10 tips to safer surgery
Having surgery can be one of life’s most difficult experiences. So it’s important to be well prepared.
Grand River Hospital provides client-focused surgical services to ensure patients receive safe and consistent care from their physician’s office right through to discharge from the hospital. Patients also play a huge role in ensuring safer surgery.
“Patients are a critical factor in their care,” explains Robinne Hauck, program director for Grand River Hospital’s surgical program. “Those who are engaged and informed are better able to participate in their own care and recovery.”
That’s why it’s vital to be well prepared. Below are some tips that can help you or a loved one prepare for surgery:
1. Share all of your health history with your surgeon and health care team.
2. Discuss all medications you are taking, both prescription and non-prescription. 3. Eat as nutritiously as possible before your surgery. 4. Exercising – if you are able - before surgery will help your recovery. 5. Quit smoking before surgery.6. Ask your surgeon or health care team any questions you have...we’re here to help!7. Follow all of the instructions you’ve been given.8. Let your surgeon know if you feel unwell before your surgery date.9. Be sure you understand exactly what you are having done.10. Arrange for help at home for after your surgery.
“By following these 10 tips, patients can be more involved in their care and ensure that they have safer surgery”, says Robinne.
GRH honours employee award winners Janet Sauder RN and Dr. Alexander Feroze
“She shows up at work to do something she loves to do.” That was one of the excerpts from the form for Janet Sauder’s nomination to become GRH’s July employee award of excellence winner.
Janet Sauder, RN
Dr. Alexander Feroze
A GRH veteran for 37 years and current day surgery nurse, Janet has also worked at the hospital in medicine, inpatient surgery and the pre-admission clinic.
Janet’s nomination form pointed out her qualities, which include: