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Impact Stories

New equipment and technology is now in use across St. Joe’s thanks to your support. Keep reading to see how your support leads better patient care—from timely diagnosis with greater accuracy to new treatment options.

EEG machine

Physicians are better able to accurately (and quickly) determine if a patient has suffered a stroke, has epilepsy, a brain disorder or damage, or any inflammation, and can even diagnose a sleep disorder with a new electroencephalogram (EEG) machine. This technology performs tests to measure the electrical activity in the brain. Using small metal discs (electrodes) attached to the scalp, physicians can see electrical impulses that provide information to help them determine the best treatment for their patients so it can start sooner.

Trans-esophageal echo probe

This specialized technology is used to determine the cause of a potential cardiac arrest so patients can begin treatment right away. This tool includes an ultrasound that is inserted down the esophagus to provide a clear image of the heart because the sound waves do not have to pass through skin, muscle, or bone tissue. It’s a minimally invasive way of examining the heart and vessels to assess damage due to a cardiac arrest and inform treatment plans.

The team caring for our tiniest patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is excited to have new Bili blankets for babies with jaundice. These newborns need phototherapy to increase their bilirubin levels before they can leave the hospital. These babies need additional exposure to phototherapy light in their bassinettes, but now, with the Bili Blankets, they can be held or swaddled warmly in the blanket, which offers maximum therapy. These blankets help our team bring down their jaundice levels quickly so they can go home sooner.

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AI in action today at St. Joe’s

An alert recently sounded in the early morning about a new patient on the fourth floor of the Medicine Unit at St. Joe’s. It was CHARTWatch indicating that a patient was at risk–a 58-year-old man who was admitted with aspiration pneumonia, fever, and hypoglycemia from alcohol withdrawal. It’s a scenario that can quickly worsen, but CHARTWatch sparked immediate intervention.

This AI tool, created at Unity Health Toronto, monitors 100 different health variables to categorize patients by risk level so our healthcare teams can prioritize care effectively. Simply put, it saves lives.

Dr. Ajay Kapur, who was one of the first doctors at St. Joe’s to use the tool, says clinicians are constantly overloaded with data. “You have to decide what is important, and the best way to do that is have some sort of technology guide us – so we can best use our clinical knowledge.”

With donor support, St. Joe’s can provide the best data-informed care for you and your family.
Support Innovation

Doubling capacity for timely breast Screening

A timely breast screening in a new tranquil environment was everything Samantha hoped for when going for her first mammogram. “I got a referral and was surprised to book my appointment within two weeks,” she says. “When I got there, it took about 10 minutes, and my results came back the next day.”

Timely appointments and fast results are among the goals of The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation Centre of Excellence in Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment, which opened last spring. Made possible thanks to donor support, this spacious new centre offers all breast care screening and treatment in one location.

The timing is ideal since this the recommended age for a breast screening will drop from 50 to 40, increasing the need for mammography screenings. “With the additional suite for mammograms and the latest in screening technology, we have been able to increase mammography tests by 29% and Ontario Breast Screening Program volumes by 38%,” says Dr. Tara Williams, Chief of Diagnostic Imaging.

Thank you to everyone who donated to make this centre possible. To ensure we can continue to give our patients the care and experience they deserve, please donate.

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