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Inventing the Future of Health Care for Ontario and Beyond: Strategic Plan 2018-21
Hospital  >  Welcome  >  Safety, Quality, Strategy, and Management  >  Strategic Plan 2018-21  >  Improve Quality and Create a Better Care Experience

Strategic Direction:
Improve Quality & Create a Better Care Experience

Achieving the best possible outcome for patients while exceeding their expectations for care and service is Sunnybrook’s primary concern. Through this Strategic Direction, Sunnybrook is building on its comprehensive strategy to continually improve the quality of care, and engaging patients and families to improve their experience.

Teams that deliver high quality care help to minimize the need for prolonged hospital stays and ensure the patient and family experience is the best it can be. In this Strategic Direction, the focus on quality improvement and patient experience come together to create informed patients and families who are provided with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the system efficiently and make confident decisions about their care.

Through this Strategic Direction, Sunnybrook will also continue to build and leverage digital health connections to create virtual communities of care that wrap around the patient’s needs. For example, the hospital will work with community health care providers to improve access to specialists at Sunnybrook and ensure that when consults are provided, there is consistent information sharing. This will make certain the patient’s need are maintained and monitored from hospital to home.


Improving care through collaborative networks

Teams at Sunnybrook partner with each other, with care providers in the system, and with institutions around the world to improve quality of patient care. Sunnybrook is committed to developing ‘quality networks’ of professionals both inside and outside of the hospital to ensure the organization is sharing its knowledge and learning from others to provide care that is truly world class.

Create a better care experience by empowering and informing patients

Navigating the health care system can be a challenge. This goal is dedicated to ensuring patients and their families understand where they are in their care journey and what resources are available to them. It is also about ensuring patients and families are provided with the information and the opportunities they need to make informed decisions about their care.

Engaging patients to create new and innovative opportunities in care delivery, research and education

Involving patients and families in making decisions about their care is something Sunnybrook has been doing for quite some time but as an academic health sciences centre, the hospital is taking patient engagement to the next level.

Sunnybrook will engage patients in its educational activities such as having patients and families participate in the assessment of students. Sunnybrook is also taking strides to engage patients and families in working with research teams to do everything from helping to define research questions through to ensuring clinical trial information is communicated in an accessible manner. Through Sunnybrook’s work in this area, patients and families are truly part of the team.


Research in this area will concentrate on the impact quality networks are having on care not only at Sunnybrook but across the health care system. This area of the strategic plan will also focus on the experience patients and families have when participating in activities that solicit their input and participation. The aim of research in this area is to develop models of patient engagement that can be used at Sunnybrook and throughout the system to ensure people feel heard and part of the experience.


One of the educational opportunities through this Strategic Direction is to focus on embedding the sense of quality improvement into the learning cycle of students whereby they ask the question: how can we do this better?

Engaging patients in the learning process is another focus for this Strategic Direction. Through this work, teams at Sunnybrook will invite patients and families to participate in the education of not only the next generation of health care professionals, but also learners who are already in their careers.

Sustainability / Opportunities

This Strategic Direction focuses on delivering what patients need, when they need it, and ensuring they are engaged in their care to help guide decision-making. By working with patients to make certain they are well informed of their journey and are confident in taking the next steps in their care, this Strategic Direction will help to reduce unnecessarily prolonged stays in hospital.

In this Strategic Direction, Sunnybrook’s teams are encouraged to challenge the status quo to ensure resources are being used as appropriately as possible to provide the best care to patients. Questioning the way ‘it has always been done’ will lead to advancements in care that focus on what is best for the patient to achieve the most optimal outcome.


Patient Story

“I was pregnant and I was afraid. How would they be able to care for me?” says Dalia, adjusting in her wheelchair to shift baby Abbas as her eldest daughter Eram climbs up onto her lap.

Read more of Dalia's story »

Dependent on a wheelchair for mobility, the 38-year-old mother has delivered two babies at Sunnybrook. Dalia has transverse myelitis, a disease aff ecting her spinal cord. “Pregnancy, for everyone, is complicated. And because I required care from a respirologist, hematologist, neurologist, dietitian and anesthetist, it was even more complex,” adds Dalia.

Additional complexities include arranging transportation to appointments, transferring a woman from her wheelchair to the examination table and even weighing a woman during prenatal visits, as Dr. Anne Berndl, maternal fetal medicine specialist, and her team learned.

“I was asked, what are your needs? What could we be doing to make it more comfortable for you?” explains Dalia.

The answers from Dalia and other women with mobility disorders helped create the first clinic of its kind in North America, the Accessible Care Pregnancy Clinic, for women with both visible and invisible mobility disorders. The clinic allows extra time for transfers and positioning the patient; for consolidating care, so appointments can time well with the Wheel- Trans schedule, and ensuring ultrasounds can be done comfortably (Dalia was able to have her ultrasounds while sitting in her wheelchair).

In fact, the entire framework of the clinic is based on information gathered from engaging patients, which has ensured the best possible care experience.

“I cannot imagine how I would have gotten through the pregnancy without the Sunnybrook team,” says Dalia. “They listened to me.”

View our Strategy Performance Report on
Strategic Direction 3 - Improve Quality and Create a Better Care Experience »

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