St. Mary’s #1 in Canada

December 13th, 2012

St. Mary’s tops all Canadian hospitals in national report on hospital mortality.
KITCHENER, ON – In 2010 the Board of St. Mary’s General Hospital set a bold new Vision “to be the safest and most effective hospital in Canada characterized by innovation, compassion and respect”. 

Accomplishment of this Vision was recognized today with the release of the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s annual report on hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR). HSMR measures expected deaths versus actual deaths in acute care hospitals, with a ratio lower than 100 indicating fewer than expected deaths.

St. Mary’s HSMR for 2011/12 is 66, the lowest of any hospital in Canada.   

“This accomplishment is great news for our patients and families, and is due to the unwavering commitment to quality and safety by our top-notch staff, physicians, volunteers and board of trustees,” says St. Mary’s President Don Shilton.

Several factors have influenced the sustained improvements at St. Mary’s and most have been driven by staff and physicians, a benefit of the implementation of Lean continuous improvement that began in 2010. 

Mr. Shilton also congratulated Grand River Hospital for its impressive results and noted that together the two Kitchener hospitals made a significant contribution towards the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network’s (WWLHIN) strong showing as the second lowest HSMR amongst LHINs in Ontario and fourth lowest HSMR amongst health regions in Canada.

St. Mary’s is also a member of the St. Joseph’s Health System, one of the largest health care corporations in Canada, where they are actively involved with quality committees and working groups to collaborate and share knowledge across six organizations in Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener and Brantford.

System President Dr. Kevin Smith applauded St. Mary’s for achieving its vision to become the safest hospital in Canada. “This is due to our unrelenting focus on quality and improving the patient experience, and is a great testament to the value the St. Joseph’s Health System has on continuous learning,” says Dr. Smith.

Contact:  Anne Kelly, Communications Specialist
519-749-6578, ext. 1501 ▪ 226-339-1903 (mobile) ▪


St. Mary’s continues to improve its efforts to provide safe, patient-centred care by:

  • Daily discussions at staff huddles on how to improve patient safety, reduce risk and respond to patient concerns
  • Reducing turnaround time for lab results, which allows faster diagnosis and treatments
  • Improving discharge planning to help patients avoid readmission
  • Having physicians review each death that occurs in hospital
  • Inviting patients and families to be part of quality of care reviews to address concerns and plan improvement measures
  • Achieving 1,000 improvements in 2011 as part of the hospital’s commitment to implementing Lean performance improvement
  • Empowering staff to work at their full scope of practice
  • Embracing innovation and shortening the  time to implement new ideas and best practices
  • Reducing hospital acquired infections. St. Mary’s has had no central line infections (CLI) in the past 34 months and just two cases of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) in the past 26 months.

HSMR Definition:

The hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR) compares a hospital’s mortality (death) rate with the overall average rate. This important measurement provides the hospital with information that assists with identifying areas for improvement. When tracked over time, the HSMR indicates how successful the hospital is in reducing deaths and improving care.

HSMR Calculation:

HSMR is calculated as a ratio of the actual number of deaths to the expected number of deaths among patients in acute care hospitals. An HSMR of 100 indicates there is no difference between the hospital’s mortality rate and the overall average rate. Therefore a rate greater than 100 means the hospital’s mortality rate is higher than the overall average and a rate lower than 100 means the hospital’s mortality rate is lower than the overall average.

SOURCE: Canadian Institute for Health Information

About the St. Joseph’s Health System

One of the largest corporations in Canada devoted to health care, member organizations in the St. Joseph’s Health System offer services according to areas of strength – from acute care, long-term care, and community care, to rehabilitation, hospice, community outreach, and mental health. The System’s six member organizations are: St.Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, St. Mary’s General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Villa (Dundas), St. Joseph’s Home Care (Hamilton), St. Joseph’s Health Centre (Guelph) and St.Joseph’s Lifecare Centre (Brantford).


One Response to “St. Mary’s #1 in Canada”

  1. Celesta Sunshine

    The resulting patient safety knowledge continually informs improvement efforts such as: applying lessons learned from business and industry, adopting innovative technologies, educating providers and consumers, enhancing error reporting systems, and developing new economic incentives.-*,”

    Most recent brief article on our personal blog page


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