At a Glance
Our Lady of Mercy (inside)

Who is your Community Health Centre?

  • We are a Catholic community teaching hospital that provides patient centred and family-centred care reflecting our universal values of respect, dignity and compassion.
  • We provide care, close to home where our patients live in areas such as Emergency Care, Medicine, Family Birthing, Surgery, and Mental Health.
  • People who come to our Emergency Department are seen by a physician faster than most hospitals in Ontario when they arrive.
  • Our community has access to specialty surgery programs for cancer, hip and knee replacements and Bariatric, right where they live.
  • Our electronic patient record system gives patients and their families enhanced safety and overall experience of care.
  • Our Just for Kids walk-in clinic is staffed by peadatricians, 7 days a week including holidays, giving families access to complete clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic care within the hospital setting.
  • We have a wide range of outpatient clinics to help support our patients' continuum of care once they are discharged home, including our seniors clinic, fracture clinic, diabetes and paedatric clinics.
  • We also work closely with our partners in the community so our patients have the right level of support services they need to stay healthy when they leave our care.

Our People

We have a saying at St. Joe's: Many Faces, One Mission. This speaks to the diversity of the people that we serve and those who serve with us. Our health centre is a team of 2,500 employees, which includes over 900 nurses. We have 400 physicians with privileges to the Health Centre, and our patients and visitors are supported by 300 volunteers.

Who we Serve by the Numbers

Beds: 400
Admissions: 22,600
Average Length of Stay: 5.4 days
Occupancy Rate: 91.8%
Births: 3,250
Diagnostic Imaging Procedures: 172,000
Surgical and Procedural Cases: 26,700
Ambulatory care visits: 281,700

In the Emergency Room

Emergency Department Visits: 97,800
Patients Brought by Ambulance: 15,900
Percentage of Emergency Patients Admitted: 12.3%

2013-2014 statistics

Teaching and Lifelong Learning

St. Joseph’s continues to provide a rich interprofessional collaborative learning environment for thousands of health care students annually.

In 2013-2014, we provided 22,877 medical training days for our medical students, residents and specialty fellows, and 22,884 training days for students from nursing, rehabilitation sciences, respiratory therapy and laboratory medicine - just to name a few. In total we welcomed over 1,000 students to St. Joe’s this year.

We also approved $69,885.74 in support of our applications for the Education Assistance Grant, which assists staff in pursuing job or career related certificates, diplomas, undergraduate and/or graduate degrees, conferences and workshops.


To view our full Accreditation report, click here.

Accreditation is a cornerstone of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives and as such we participate in the accreditation process on a voluntary basis. St. Joseph's Health Centre was awarded a three-year Accredited with Exemplary Standing, which is the highest level awarded by Accreditation Canada.

Surveyor’s Commentary

The following global comments regarding the survey visit are provided: St. Joseph's Health Centre can celebrate many successes. There is a very strong dedicated board, which oversees the organization. The board provides clear directions to the organization. It has policies, bylaws, and performance evaluation processes both for the board as a whole and its members. The strategic plan was approved in November 2010 and rolled out across the organization.

"Big Aims" have been developed to help focus attention on reducing falls, pressure ulcers and other things. There are many indicators being monitored and reported to the board effectively, using a corporate scorecard, with colour coding for status of each of the indicators for ready interpretation of the content. The board is skills based and seeks to reflect the stakeholders it serves. The organization is values based and the values are seen to be lived across the activities of the organization and especially in the excellent ethics program.

The leadership team is innovative and creative as seen by such activities as the "Releasing Time to Care" program and continuously seeking to improve quality and patient safety as seen by the quality improvement wall. There is a respect for the importance of using data to assist in decision making as seen by the presence of a decision support department. Care is patient centered and provided by appropriate inter professional teams.

There are many communication vehicles used, which are designed to address the needs of the stakeholders. The website is current and contains much information about the organization. The leaders reach into the community using the vehicle of "Population Panels" as an example. They bring the input from the various panels such as the seniors' panel back to the leadership team. The panels played an important part in the development of the strategic plan. There are many partnerships with community agencies, such as with the University of Toronto, local hospitals and others to facilitate and improve patient care. There appears to be effective communication at all levels in the organization. Staff state they are well informed.

The organization is committed to involving staff in all activities such as planning, budgeting and decision making. The staff are keen to be involved as well. There is a volunteer program to support patient care. The organization allows volunteer students opportunities to learn more about the healthcare professionals while they volunteer. There are many educational opportunities for staff, both internal and external and support is available for them. The hospital is considered as a location of choice by students.

There is an integrated quality improvement program, which is thorough and well integrated across the organization. Many patient safety initiatives have been implemented including staff huddles, weekly executive safety rounds and the quality improvement wall. An enterprise risk management program has been developed which highlights the major risks to the organization and the mitigating strategies to address them. This has received external recognition and has been requested by other organizations.

Access and flow issues continue to be addressed in very unique ways to the extent that ambulance off load times are the lowest in this Local Health Integrated Network (LHIN). An automated laboratory system has been implemented. There is a voice activated dictation system in diagnostic imaging (DI) services.

The infrastructure of much of the organization is old and as such, needs to be monitored closely and repaired as needed. There is always an issue of managing to the fiscal realities. This organization has managed its finances effectively and needs to continue to do this in a time where revenues are not always stable or predictable.

A new wing of the hospital is expected to open in the fall, resulting in moving challenges. There will be considerably more space than before, which will require some changes. This can potentially be stressful for staff and so must be monitored and addressed as needed. Medication reconciliation has been implemented but needs to continue until it is incorporated into all appropriate areas of the hospital.

There have been staffing changes which are causing some concern, and these need to be monitored and discussed as appropriate. Thirteen community partners attended the community partners' focus group. They spoke positively about their relationships with the hospital and its staff. There were many examples of programs where the hospital participated with them to implement and sustain programs that benefited their patients/clients. They state the hospital is an excellent partner and seeks to help them problem solve for the benefit of patients/clients. The hospital has implemented "Population Panels" for various groups in the community such as seniors, new people to Canada and others. People who sit on these panels/committees speak very favourably about them and the role they have in obtaining community feedback for hospital planning.

Leading Practices

Leading practices are commendable or exemplary organizational practices that demonstrate high quality leadership and service delivery. Accreditation Canada considers these practices worthy of recognition as organizations strive for excellence in their specific field, or commendable for what they contribute to health care as a whole. They may have been identified as a leading practice in a particular geographic region, or for a particular service delivery area or health issue.

Leading Practices:

  • are creative and innovative
  • demonstrate efficiency in practice
  • are linked to Accreditation Canada standards
  • are adaptable by other organizations

St. Joseph's Health Centre is commended for the following:

Recognizing innovation and creativity in Canadian health care delivery

A Roadmap to reduce Adverse Events by 50% by March 31st, 2011
The Big Aim served as a stretch goal so although we did not meet the 50% reduction in C. Difficile infections, falls with harm and pressure ulcers, there have been significant improvements in two of the three when compared to our 2009-10 baseline. Namely, C. Difficile infections have demonstrated a 34% improvement; Falls with harm has shown 32% improvement.

We Are

  • The first modern Paediatric Department in Toronto under Catholic auspices
  • Home to the first Intensive Care Unit in Toronto
  • Founders of the first Research Foundation in Toronto
  • Originators of the first Respiratory Ambulatory Care Program in Toronto
  • Founders of the first Birthing Coach Program in Toronto
  • The first hospital in Ontario to grant in-hospital delivery services to midwives
  • The first hospital in Canada to implement routine Troponin blood tests for myocardial infarction
  • The first hospital in North America to have an image-guided system for sinus surgery
  • The first hospital in North America to use the Holium laser treatment for urological disorders
  • One of the first community teaching hospitals to open two MRI surgical suites
  • Home to the second Operating Room Pharmacy Satellite in Canada
  • One of the pioneers in the development of digital fluoroscopy
  • A leader in Electronic Data Interchange; the first hospital to use a non-proprietary EDI system for purchase orders and purchase order acknowledgement
  • A Ventilator Clinic designated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • A reference centre for tumor marker measurements for the City of Toronto
  • Acknowledged for our international leadership in otolaryngology, functional and endoscopic sinus surgery and otopathology
  • Home to the largest combined medical and surgical chest unit in the Toronto area, which was accredited in 1993 by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a teaching unit for thoracic surgery residents
  • Recognized by Health Canada and the Child Health Network for best practices in our Toronto Centre for Substance Use in Pregnancy
  • One of the first hospitals in Toronto to offer family physicians remote access
  • One of the first hospitals in Toronto to integrate PACS filmless technology, providing a faster and more efficient way of storing and sharing images such as x-rays
  • A leader in offering laparoscopic abdominal and thoracic surgery
  • Home to the second-largest fracture clinic in Ontario
  • A referral centre for west-end Toronto in visual fields, orthoptic examinations and fluoroscein angiographic studies
  • A Regional Paediatric Centre for southwest Toronto
  • Designated as a Regional Dialysis Program by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • The first full-time ethics service established in Canada, in partnership with Providence Healthcare and St. Michael's Hospital.

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