March 08, 2011 08:46 ET


Pilot project result of collaboration with Sunnybrook and Cleveland Clinic

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - Patients coming into the Sunnybrook Emergency Department (ED) will now receive a 'pre-triage' assessment immediately upon entering the department.

A first for Toronto, the concept of 'pre-triage' screening is a result of the collaborative efforts between experts at Sunnybrook and Cleveland Clinic. One of the challenges the teams examined in their review of patient flow in the ED was ensuring those who entered the department at the same time were prioritized appropriately.

Although patients are assessed as soon as they enter the ED currently, the full triage process of taking vital signs and a patient history can take about 15 minutes per person. In a busy ED, when multiple patients enter the department at once, a pre-triage step can ensure the most seriously ill or injured patients are seen before others. It is anticipated that this will improve patient satisfaction and ensure every patient is prioritized in the most appropriate manner.

For the past few months, Cleveland Clinic, drawing upon their expertise in Toronto and in Cleveland, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have been working together to learn more about how processes in the Emergency Department (ED) can be improved to reduce wait times and enhance the overall experience for patients.

"Working with Cleveland Clinic has been a highly beneficial experience for our teams in the Emergency Department," said Barry McLellan, President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "Based on feedback from our staff and those involved from Cleveland, there has been a great sense of collegiality and willingness to do whatever it takes to improve the experience for patients and their families. We have learned from them and they have learned from us which is exactly what we wanted to achieve."

There has been shared learning from both organizations and despite having origins in systems from the United States and Canada, the teams found there were often more similarities than differences between the hospitals and the needs of their patients. Both organizations have put forth a considerable effort to create innovative ideas to improve the efficient movement of patients in and out of the ED.

"Cleveland Clinic is excited to be working alongside Sunnybrook to improve the patient experience," said Michael Kessel, President and CEO, Cleveland Clinic Canada. "This collaboration is all about leveraging our shared knowledge to create innovative solutions in patient care. At Cleveland Clinic Canada, we are proud to have facilitated this collaboration."

In the future, the organizations will examine other areas where they can both share expertise and work towards a common goal of improving patient care.

About the collaborators:

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1 million patients the hospital cares for each year through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff, physicians and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada's premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for Canada's war veterans, high-risk pregnancies, critically ill newborns, adults and the elderly, and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, brain disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries.

Cleveland Clinic was identified as a valuable collaborator because they are widely recognized as innovators in healthcare and have a presence within the Canadian healthcare community. For the 16th consecutive year Cleveland Clinic's heart program has been ranked as the best in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report. Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News and World Report consistently name Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. About 2,500 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 7,600 nurses at Cleveland Clinic represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In addition to its main campus in Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic operates nine regional hospitals in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and Cleveland Clinic Canada. In 2010, there were more than 4.3 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 165,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries.

Cleveland Clinic Canada is an outpatient clinic in the heart of downtown Toronto that specializes in preventive medicine. By incorporating the latest technology with innovative clinical wellness programming, Cleveland Clinic Canada is helping Canadians take control of their health by minimizing current health risks and preventing future health issues. Offering both public and private services, Cleveland Clinic Canada continuously looks for ways to complement and add value to the existing single payor system in a meaningful way for Canadians. All of the programs and services provided in Toronto follow the clinical protocol set by the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. To learn more, visit
/For further information: Meegan Guest
Director, Marketing and Communications
Cleveland Clinic Canada

Contact Information

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