The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released its latest national hospital performance data, including results for Windsor Regional Hospital.

WRH hospital officials are calling the results positive, with continued low readmission rates and significant reductions in incidents of sepsis and improved care for obstetrics patients.

However, WRH is still working on improving ER wait times and the hospital mortality ratio.

The data represents activity for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which reflects the 12-month period that ended March 31, 2017 and constitutes combined indicators for both the Met and Ouellette campuses.

For the 2016-2017 fiscal year and for the previous five years, WRH has had the lowest obstetrical readmission rate (0.9 per cent) for a large community hospital across Canada.

In addition, overall WRH had a readmission rate for all patients of 8.5 per cent, which was better than the provincial and national average. Also, the rates for paediatric readmissions–patients 19 years of age and younger (6.1 per cent) and the number of surgical patients requiring readmission (6.3 per cent) are both below LHIN, provincial and national averages.

In-hospital incidents of “sepsis” – which occurs when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammatory responses throughout the body – totalled 3.7 patients out of every 1,000 patients.

WRH officials say these results show definitive improvements and show the focused results of the work completed by their Medical Quality Assurance Committee.

Emergency Department wait times remain a challenge throughout the Canada Health Care system.

Nine out of 10 people who present at the ED and require admission to hospital wait 29.4 hours or less for an in-patient bed at WRH. This mark is better than the prior year and below provincial and national averages.

However, patient volumes in our ED and overall capacity concerns remain a constant point of discussion at WRH, and hospital officials say they are continuously looking at ways to improve patient flow and quicker admissions were necessary.

The length of time it takes for a patient to receive an initial physician assessment was 4.8 hours, higher than provincial and national benchmarks and statistically unchanged from the prior fiscal year.

Hospital officials say it is important to note that this length of time does not reflect wait times for the most critical patients, who arrive by ambulance and are immediately treated given the life-threatening nature of their conditions.

Process changes continue to be made at both campuses to improve patient flow and access to an initial assessment by a physician/NP based on benchmarking with other regional hospitals.

Overall, the CIHI data covers 12 key indicators for acute care operations and reflects performances during the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Breakdowns in the CIHI data demonstrate how the overall health system is performing on a national and provincial level, as well as comparisons among acute care services with “peer” large community hospitals and its partner hospitals in the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network.

“WRH has engrained in its culture the importance of transparent public reporting. If you under report, your numbers could appear stronger, but you do a disservice to your patients and your community,” said David Musyj, president and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital.“

Data from CIHI and other sources allows hospitals to measure their performance year over year, and identify areas to target for improvement.”

Musyj says you can’t improve it if you can’t measure it, which is why on a daily basis, “we collect data on our performance and analyze the results so that our teams can work together for continuous improvement across both of our acute care campuses.”

Other highlights, incidents of obstetric trauma were reduced to 10.2 per cent at WRH, which is well below provincial (14.9%) and national (18.9%) rates.

The CIHI results demonstrate some further areas to target for continued improvement. CIHI’s analysis shows the HSMR rate (Hospitalized Standard Mortality Ratio) - the ratio of the actual number of in-hospital deaths to expected deaths was 101, lower than the prior year but still above the HSMR for the province and country.

Hospital officials say numerous actions continue to be taken to address this metric: Acuity Summary Forms have been implemented at our Ouellette campus; Decision Support and Health Records are collaboratively completing chart audits and in depth case level reviews; and coding practices are being reviewed and standardized across both campuses.