BTOES Insights Official
July 12, 2017

Driving Quality Improvement Through a Patient-Centred Approach.: University Health Network

Drive quality improvement through a patient-centred approach.

We are proud to offer our BTOES Insights community with access to the very best Award-Winning Case Studies of the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards, 2017! You can learn more about the awards here. Click below for access to our Award-Winning entry for  Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Healthcare, courtesy of University Health Network..

This Operational Excellence example study shows significant process and quality improvements for over 1,500 clinicians and 3,000 students, a 70% increase in timely completion, and a 120% increase in timely delivery of Discharge Summaries.

Operational Excellence example - Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Healthcare: University Health Network


Introduction to the Operational Excellence Project

An international source for discovery, education, and patient care, the University Health Network (UHN) is the largest hospital-based research program in Canada. Affiliated with the University of Toronto, it consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute for Education, and generates 116,300 emergency visits, one million clinic visits, and 35,000 inpatient visits annually.

The Discharge Summary (DS) is a critical step in a patient’s journey, communicating a summary of the patient’s hospital stay to subsequent care providers, ensuring timely follow-ups, and preventing adverse events and readmissions post-discharge. With this in mind, UHN launched its Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) DS Program to improve timeliness of completion and delivery, and quality of clinical documentation.

Recognizing patients, primary care, and clinicians as co-creators of positive patient outcomes and quality care, the program established a partnership that created a community of learners and targeted quality improvements to accelerate sustainable and scalable change, evidence-based decision-making, and outcomes supported by best practice, education, and technology.



The collective value has been:

  • Significant process and quality improvements for over 1,500 clinicians and 3,000 students
  • A 70% increase in timely completion
  • A 120% increase in timely delivery of Discharge Summaries
  • 64% of UHN clinical services seeing a decrease in readmissions to-date.
  • Getting better at the DS process and understanding its utility for patients and primary care, has enabled UHN to deliver on its purpose of Patients First and drive quality improvement through a patient-centred approach

How UHN drive quality improvement through a patient-centred approach.


All the best,

Charlotte Kelly
BTOES Insights

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