A clinical backbone of RVH gets a redevelopment

When thinking of RVH, your first thought probably isn’t about the laboratory. However, more than 70 per cent of patients’ diagnoses rely on the laboratory for information and results.

“Without the lab, your physician can only offer an educated guess,” says Arbour MacLachlan, RVH Supervisor, Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

RVH’s Laboratory recently underwent much-needed renovations and replacement of decade-old equipment to keep up with the evolving and growing demand. Thanks to the support of donors like you, these renovations will mean shorter wait time for patients’ results, faster diagnosis and better care overall.

The 120 member laboratory team process up to 2.5 million tests a year, not only for RVH patients, but other sites as well. The laboratory provides clinical services for other hospitals in the region including Georgian Bay General Hospital, Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare and others. They even do testing for Base Borden. The lab performs many types of testing – blood, urine, vital fluids, tissues, and much more. The improvements resulting from this renovation were made possible by your generous support and offers better safety, intuitiveness and reliability for the laboratory, as well as making the processes more efficient and streamlined, all of which benefit patient care.

New state-of-the-art equipment and updated layout of RVH’s laboratory.

Expanding the ‘gold standard’ of cardiac care to patients across the region

Thanks to dedicated donors like you, RVH has continued to expand access to advanced cardiac care to patients across Simcoe Muskoka. The Simcoe Muskoka Code STEMI protocol, first introduced in November 2020, means that most residents with heart attack symptoms, who visit their local Emergency Department or call 911, are taken directly to RVH where the advanced heart team is waiting for them. The protocol has been gradually implemented throughout the region over the past year and means the ‘gold standard’ of advanced cardiac care can be received in 120 minutes or less upon first medical contact. Your generosity made the regional heart program at RVH possible, opening in 2018. Since then, the cardiac team has completed over 10,000 heart procedures; keeping your loved ones close to home in the moments that matter.

RVH cardiac patient who received the Code STEMI protocol.

Adapting to extraordinary circumstances

Thanks to dedicated donors like you, RVH has continued to adapt to the changing needs of our community during the pandemic. An additional room was built in the ICU and other areas of the health centre were converted into temporary ICU beds to ensure the best possible care experience for patients with COVID-19. Additional ventilators were purchased and nurses trained in critical care were added. RVH was also able to care for more than 220 patients who were transferred from hospitals that had reached capacity in the Greater Toronto Area as well as one from out of province. RVH even established a Critical Care Transport Team, led by Dr. Chris Martin, RVH’s Chief and Medical Director of Critical Care; Emergency and Intensive Care. The team made heroic efforts to ensure that patients from surrounding areas were transported quickly and received exceptional, in some cases, life-saving care.

Dr. Chris Martin, RVH Chief and Medical Director of Critical Care in the ICU during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A welcoming space for people recovering from addiction

RVH’s Rapid Access Medicine Clinic (RAAM) and Withdrawal Management Services moved many services to a virtual model during the pandemic. At the same time, knowing that patients would eventually return to in-person care, the team began renovations to their bricks and mortar space. The goal? To create a holistic, healing and welcoming environment. Changes included the addition of a gender neutral bathroom, new flooring, an updated nursing station and kitchen area, art, and a renovated group room that allows for in-person and virtual groups. With your decision to donate to RVH, you’re supporting a health centre that prioritizes patient care and invests in important upgrades, even in the most difficult times.