CHEO Annual Report – 2016/2017

Stronger together for children and youth

Children, youth and families deserve a stronger and more connected system of health services, and this year our community took a giant step closer to achieving that goal. On October 1, 2016, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) officially joined forces with the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC) to become one organization. For many years, families have told us that the health care system can be challenging to navigate. We listened, and now we’re on the road to delivering results – starting by bringing our hospital services together with the developmental and rehabilitation services of OCTC.

Now with just one door, CHEO – OCTC is offering easier access to services, and more coordinated care to the patients, clients and families we serve. This will mean the world for kids like Leah, who at one time received care from 14 different services at CHEO and OCTC, ranging from audiology to neurosurgery, from physiotherapy to full-time kindergarten.

By teaming up, we have started to build the foundation for a more integrated child and youth health system – one where we are stronger together for the kids, youth and families in this community.

Our goal is to not only be one organization, but to feel like one. We are taking this opportunity to uncover our shared values and harness our unique strengths to build the organization families want and need us to be. In the coming months, with input from our community, staff and physicians, we will work hard to define our vision, mission, and shared identity.


We are committed to improving the care we provide each and every day. Our staff and physicians not only ensure exceptional care, but they also look for enhancements that will give children and youth faster access to care, keep safety a priority, make the best use of time, and maintain an inspiring workplace.

The entire CHEO – OCTC team knows that better is always possible, and this year we made 1,798 improvements throughout our organization. That’s almost three times as many as last year.

Here is a snapshot of some success stories:

Improvements Made

Bedside manners
Chalk it up to experience
Food for thought


Faster Access

Newborn Screening Ontario: “What weekend?”
Empowering kids to manage chronic pain
New critical care carts


Safety First

Spill Busters
The best medicine
Monitoring blood glucose made easy


Time Found

Technology for mental health
Less paperwork, more care


Inspiring Workplace

It’s all in the delivery
Getting kids home quicker


Great strides in mental health

No one struggling with mental health challenges should be alone – especially children and youth. CHEO and The Royal have been working hand-in-hand through the Young Minds Partnership to create a stronger system of mental health care for children, youth and families. Both are leading providers of expert mental health care as well as leaders in research for healthy young minds.

A major improvement in 2016 was the launch of the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA), a model for outpatient care that reduces wait times and provides the right care at the right time. CAPA puts patients and families at the centre of their treatment. Together, CHEO and The Royal were able to offer 1,433 more counselling sessions, and the average wait time at CHEO plummeted from 200 days to just 22 days for a first appointment.

We were also proud to launch Project ECHO®, a first for child and youth mental health. With support from the Government of Ontario, Project ECHO® will help clinicians in rural and remote communities across Ontario to provide better care to more kids and young people, right where they live.


CHEO MyChart access – anytime, anywhere

CHEO is a Canadian leader in adopting an integrated electronic health record – called Epic. We are even partnering with SickKids to help them adopt Epic and create the first shared electronic health record system for children in Canada. And now CHEO families can access MyChart, a feature of Epic that gives them secure access to their records.

Going digital is not only about convenience. Bottom line: it improves care. The families who tested MyChart found they were better prepared for their next medical visit. Parents could see a list of their child’s health issues, allergies and medications, lab and test results, physician summaries and future appointments. Some clinics are also using MyChart for secure two-way communication between patients and health care teams.

It’s the way of the future. And it’s now accessible to all CHEO families and youth, putting personal health information right at their fingertips.


CHEO Research: Making a Difference

Research in pediatric cancer, diabetes, obesity, mental health, emergency medicine, genetics, rare diseases and more

515 discoveries

40,000+ patients and families involved in research

Being on the SPOT saves lives

CHEO’s SPOT team makes sure that when kids leave the intensive care unit (ICU), they continue on the path to recovery. Before the SPOT team was created, about 40 kids a year went back to the ICU from the units because their condition got worse. CHEO research showed that intervention from the SPOT team on the unit reduced critically ill kids’ mortality by 60%. Now, new research by Dr. Anna-Theresa Lobos and Dr. Dayre McNally has demonstrated how to “spot” the children most in need of a follow-up.

The school of hard knocks

A thousand children a year are treated at CHEO for concussions. Now CHEO scientist Dr. Roger Zemek has led an international research team which has published two studies in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The first study resulted in the world’s first comprehensive guidelines to help physicians predict how long a child’s concussion symptoms will last – based on proven criteria. The second study went against conventional wisdom by suggesting that, in fact, light exercise may help kids recover from concussion faster.

Measuring the impact of mental health research

The new Centre for Pediatric Mental Health Services and Policy Research at CHEO is one-of-a-kind. First, it’s focused exclusively on mental health in young people and children. Second, it will shed light on how to structure the best mental health care to ensure that children and youth can access mental health care that is available and appropriate for them. Research chairs at CHEO, Dr. William Gardner and Dr. John McLennan, focus on reaching hard-to-reach communities, improving mental health services, and social justice in health care.

Hear from CHEO researchers and scientists in their own words about their discoveries.
Help families and children by participating in research at CHEO. Find out more.


Project Stitch: Making recovery better

In January, we were thrilled to unveil our completely renovated surgery recovery room, known as the Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU), to help make waking up from surgery friendlier for our patients and their families. We redesigned and expanded the recovery areas, added a separation room with a quiet environment, updated our nursing station, and brightened everything up with fun paint colours. All of this means more space and privacy for kids while they're recovering. These upgrades are part of Project Stitch, the complete renovation of CHEO’s day surgery and recovery units.

CHEO’s expert surgeons do almost 8,000 surgeries a year. Once Project Stitch is complete, our capacity will rise to 10,000 surgeries every year – a 25% increase. This will reduce wait times for surgery by up to three months!


Celebrations and Milestones

Family Forum, CHEO’s family advisory council, celebrated its 25th anniversary in September. It is the longest running family advisory council in Canada – and possibly the world. Its members help our health care teams to better support families whose children are hospitalized or chronically ill.

Meanwhile, CHEO’s Youth Forum celebrated its Sweet 16 years of guiding CHEO from a youth perspective. Youth Forum has created youth-friendly grants and awards, sponsored teen nights on inpatient units, provided feedback on programs, and made videos on how to interact with youth.

For the second year in a row, CHEO made Forbes’ list of Canada’s Best Employers. Once again, we ranked No. 1 among health-care and social-sector employers and moved into 10th place overall. CHEO joins Google, Ubisoft, NAV Canada and Toronto Hydro in the top 10 best places to work in Canada!

In March 2016, CHEO unveiled a bright, newly renovated cafeteria – part of a project to meet the Healthy Foods Bronze Level standard set by our region’s health care leaders. The cafeteria re-opened with a new healthier menu – and without a deep fryer. CHEO’s new menu of fresh foods, stir-fries and smoothies has proven popular with both employees and visitors – a win-win situation.


CHEO-OCTC in numbers (2016/2017)


53% Ministry of Health/LHIN

15% Patient Revenues

9% Sundry & Ancillary

1% Preferred Accommodation

20% Other Votes

2% Amortization of Grants



51% Salaries / Benefits

16% Other Supplies

3% Medical Surgical Supplies

3% Medical Staff

3% Drugs & Gases

20% Other Votes

4% Depreciation & Amortization



Admissions to CHEO

ED Visits

Ambulatory Clinic Visits

Medical Day Visits

Total number of Surgeries

Babies screened by Newborn Screening Ontario