Halton Healthcare is delivering on its purpose to care for its communities and its people.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has cemented in the minds and spirits of staff, physicians, and volunteers at Halton Healthcare, it’s that access to quality care is best served by an organizational culture built on a compassionate, accountable, and respectful team — a team with concrete links to each other as a community within a community hospital.
“A key piece of the entire health care team is the emphasis on relationships across our teams,” says Joan Jickling, Senior Vice President Patient Engagement and Chief Nursing Executive at Halton Healthcare. “Success to us means that we’re all working in lockstep with each other to support our patients and our colleagues.”
The community advantage
Serving the three growing communities of Georgetown, Milton, and Oakville, Halton Healthcare’s small-town advantage begins with a deep sense of connection, as many staff live and work within these communities. It also allows for quick mobilization of expertise across facilities and an expanded reach beyond the limits of the hospital bed to support primary, secondary, and community-based care. As a growing organization, Halton Healthcare holds strong to the advantages of being a community-based system with direct physician communication as well as integrated patient care and access across tightly-knit teams.
Our purpose as an organization is to care. That extends through our patients and families, and across our entire hospital community.
Halton Healthcare’s teams are supported by a culture of recognition, inclusion, and compassion that goes beyond industry standards. This includes a commitment to its people and values through programs that connect and support them. Some of these options offer the chance for colleagues to share the complexities of working with patients and families.
“Our purpose as an organization is to care,” says Jickling. “That extends through our patients and families, and across our entire hospital community.”
For example, Halton Healthcare was one of the first community hospitals in Canada to host Schwartz Rounds. The Rounds provide a multidisciplinary forum to share difficult emotional and social issues when caring for patients. The program has been clinically proven to reduce stress, help prevent burnout and compassion fatigue, and enhance patient care among health care providers.
Organizational support for growth
Halton Healthcare couples its staff support and assistance programs with progressive technology and foundational programs to support professional development and growth, including opportunities for leadership. For nurses, there are options for specialty education, in partnership with academic institutions, for critical care, perioperative, and emergency nursing along with tuition support and leadership programs.
Thanks to the committed efforts of the organization, it has been recognized as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2021, by Waterstone Human Capital. This award is based on an evaluation of corporate culture and highlights recipients that put culture at the centre of everything they do.
While the pandemic has been a source of countless challenges for health human resources, it has also opened as many opportunities for the regeneration of the workforce. “While we’ve never stopped providing the best possible care, the time we were able to spend connecting with our patients and families just hasn’t been the same,” says Jickling. “We’re committed to evolving for our teams and our patients, and involving people in their care. Ultimately, it’s better for our communities and is an approach that helps patients, families, providers, and the system as a whole.”