Special Report

ARTIC Special Event

Strong Foundations, New Collaborations: Special Event Celebrates CAHO ARTIC Program, Reflects on Future Partnerships   

CAHO commended the successes of the Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) Program and looked to future collaborations with Health Quality Ontario—a partnership that was dubbed “a marriage made in heaven” by The Honourable Deb Matthews—at a special event held at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital on March 3, 2014.

Left to right: Karen Michell, CAHO Executive Director; The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; and Leslee Thompson, CAHO Chair.
Left to right: Karen Michell, CAHO Executive Director; The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; and Leslee Thompson, CAHO Chair.

March 3, 2014 was a red-letter day for Ontario’s hospital, health care and research community. The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) celebrated the successes of its Adopting Research to Improve Care (ARTIC) Program, and set sail for future collaborations at a special all-day event, “Strong Foundations, New Collaborations,” staged at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital.

The aim of ARTIC is to move research evidence into practice from one hospital across the CAHO community in order to drive quality improvement and benefit the health care system as a whole.

“We are here today to celebrate the CAHO ARTIC Program’s achievements in accelerating the implementation of research evidence into practice, and to chart a course for expanded collaboration and new possibilities,” said Karen Michell, Executive Director at CAHO.

This special event focused on the innovative program, launched by CAHO in 2010, and its tremendous potential to spread across the province with the help of valued partners including The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC); Susan Fitzpatrick, Assistant Deputy Minister, Negotiations and Accountability Management Division, MOHLTC; and Dr. Joshua Tepper, President and CEO, Health Quality Ontario (HQO).

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Front row, left to right: Karen Michell, CAHO Executive Director; The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; and Leslee Thompson, CAHO Chair. Back row, left to right: Dr. Robin McLeod, Mount Sinai Hospital; Dr. Sharon Straus, St. Michael’s Hospital; Dr. Barbara Liu, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Dr. Ian Stiell, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Dr. Andrew Morris, Mount Sinai Hospital; Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, Lawson Health Research Institute; and Dr. Michael Tsang, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (UHN).

“CAHO is a community of innovators and educators, a community of leaders that accepts accountability to make Ontario’s health system better,” Michell said in her opening remarks. “Innovation in health care doesn’t just happen. It needs to be informed by evidence. Implementing evidence widely into practice requires collaboration and change enablers. Collaboration and change needs to be approached with purpose and intent. It requires infrastructure, support, resources and accountability for making it happen. ARTIC has put these enablers of change and infrastructure supports in place.”

Minister Matthews reaffirmed her support of the Program: “The CAHO ARTIC Program has played a vital role in moving evidence to action in this province. By building successful partnerships between hospitals and research institutions, we are transforming the health care system by sharing knowledge and implementing evidence to improve patient care. I want to thank the front-line staff across the province who have played a critical role by implementing research evidence, so that patients can benefit from higher quality care.”

Looking to the future, Minister Matthews said: “I am happy to see CAHO and Health Quality Ontario working together to continue the ARTIC Program’s evolution as a platform for moving evidence into action,” referring to the partnership as “a marriage made in heaven.”

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The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, speaking at Strong Foundations, Future Collaborations: “The CAHO ARTIC Program has played a vital role in moving evidence to action in this province.” In looking for ways to move this program to a provincial platform, she referred to the CAHO/Health Quality Ontario partnership as “a marriage made in heaven.”

Event Profiled the Successes of Six Projects   

This special event spotlighted the achievements of each of the six CAHO ARTIC projects:

  • CAHO Antimicrobial Stewardship Program in Intensive Care Units Project (ASP), led by Dr. Andrew Morris (Mount Sinai Hospital), which aims to optimize the use of antimicrobials in intensive care units;
  • HandyAudit™ ARTIC Project, headed by Dr. Geoff Fernie with Dr. Michael Tsang (Toronto Rehabilitation Institute/UHN)—an innovative auditing tool that measures hand hygiene compliance in an effective and efficient way;
  • Transitional Discharge Model ARTIC Project (TDM), led by Dr. Cheryl Forchuk (Lawson Health Research Institute), which supports the successful transition from hospital to the community for people diagnosed with a mental illness;
  • Canadian C-Spine Rule ARTIC Project (CCR), headed by Dr. Ian Stiell (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute), aimed at reducing Emergency Department wait times and increasing patient satisfaction by quickly identifying patients who do not require immobilization;
  • Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Guideline ARTIC Project (iERAS), led by Dr. Robin McLeod (Mount Sinai Hospital), which uses an innovative knowledge translation strategy to implement a range of interventions for patients undergoing colorectal surgery; and
  • Mobilization of the Vulnerable Elderly in Ontario ARTIC Project (MOVE ON), co-led by Dr. Sharon Straus (St. Michael’s Hospital) and Dr. Barbara Liu (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), which uses an inter-professional approach that focuses on early and consistent mobilization of older patients through their hospital stay.

The MOVE ON Project was accompanied by a public service announcement, Motions of Recovery, to raise awareness and educate elderly patients, their social networks, health care providers and the general public about the benefits of mobilizing patients while in hospital and the risk of immobilization.

A panel discussion, in the afternoon, tackled the issue of how to bridge ARTIC into the future and touched on possible new collaborations. Project-specific discussions were facilitated via break-out sessions in the later afternoon.

Success Measurable in Metrics

The organization of this special event—specifically, the juxtaposition of the past and the future of the CAHO ARTIC Program—made it possible to fully realize just how far this program has come in a mere three and a half years.

As those in the hospital, health care and medical community know, change takes time—17 years, on average, to see research evidence broadly implemented into practice. But the ARTIC Program has challenged this age-old rule, and reduced the number of years down to two. This is a credit to CAHO’s leadership as well as the ARTIC Project Leads, Managers and Champions.

Spread and scale—from Sudbury to Hamilton, from London to Kingston—have already occurred. Many ARTIC projects have transitioned from the hospital of origin to other facilities.

The metrics speak for themselves; to date, ARTIC has accomplished the following:

  • implemented six projects based on proven evidence that address system priorities to improve the quality of care and outcomes for Ontario patients;
  • accelerated the adoption of this evidence into 82 hospital units across the CAHO community;
  • trained over 166 change management champions;
  • identified and addressed the key enablers and barriers to evidence implementation;
  • developed communities of practice to facilitate collaboration, sharing of knowledge and leveraging of provincial resources leading to better coordination across the system; and
  • created a high-functioning, effective centralized office to facilitate and accelerate efforts to drive quality improvement through the development of an evidence implementation pathway.

Bridging to the Future

More than anything, “Strong Foundations, New Collaborations” illustrated how the ARTIC Program is well poised for the future, with the understanding that Ontario’s health care system has yet to realize the full potential of sharing best practices and systematizing efforts to move research evidence into practice.

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Left-to-right: Winnie Doyle, Chair, ARTIC Program Task Force (and Vice-President, Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Executive,  St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton); Leslee Thompson, CAHO Chair; Karen Michell, CAHO Executive Director; Dr. Joshua Tepper, President and CEO, Health Quality Ontario; and Susan Fitzpatrick, Assistant Deputy Minister, Negotiations and Accountability Management Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Joshua Tepper spoke about the future: “People are worried about quality in the health care system, and specifically how are we going to ensure that we have widespread adoption of evidence that will improve quality. The good news is we already have good evidence, right here in Ontario, about what’s going to drive quality. ARTIC has taken on that challenging role of actually spreading and scaling excellence. The opportunity of HQO to work together with CAHO is huge; specifically the opportunity to move this more broadly into the system is incredibly exciting.”

Tepper emphasized that the ARTIC Program filled a need, and he welcomed the opportunity to work with CAHO and the Ministry to continue the ARTIC Program’s evolution to becoming a provincial asset.

To learn more about the ARTIC Program, go here: http://bit.ly/19Pks81