Read new visiting guidelines and other COVID-19 updates here.

Dr Simon Oczkowski in a hospital room

Healthcare Providers

COVID-19

Changes to procedural and diagnostic services at HHS:
Information for referring physicians during COVID-19

Hospitals are postponing or delaying non-emergency ambulatory programs and diagnostics to support containment of the COVID 19 virus in our Ontario and support the stewardship of human and health resources.

In general, most day procedures and diagnostic services are limited urgent and emergent issues. Referring physicians should notify services if a more urgent clinical indication arises for their patients. Please refer to individual programs listed below for specific considerations and contact information.

This webpage will be maintained with the most current service offerings and referral processes for HHS’ procedural and diagnostic services.

We thank you for your support during these challenging times.

Breast screening and diagnostic assessment: CIBC Breast Assessment Centre at Juravinski Hospital

Routine screening as part of the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is deferred as screening activities are not recommended for a healthy population during a pandemic.

Breast diagnostic assessment continues for patients presenting with highly suspicious clinical symptoms and/or imaging findings. All other patients are being deferred for a period of at least three months. Referring physicians should notify services if a more urgent clinical indication arises for their patients.

Examples of highly suspicious symptoms may include:
o Query inflammatory breast cancer
o New palpable lump
o Blood nipple discharge
Contact:
Referrals should be submitted on the attached BAC Referral Form. All calls to our clinic should be directed to 905-521-2100 Ext 42497.

Referral form:

Cardiology

Arrhythmia service
The arrhythmia service will continue to accept urgent device and ablation cases from our region.
Contact information: tbd

Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory & Electrophysiology
Urgent and emergent procedures for inpatients and outpatients ONLY.

We will continue to offer primary PCI for patients with acute MI.

Referrals for elective outpatient cases are being accepted. Appointments will be scheduled after the acute surge in COVID-related activity has passed
unless a more urgent clinical indication arises.
Contact information: tbd

Comprehensive cardiology clinic & subspecialty clinics

Referrals to the comprehensive cardiology clinic and all sub-specialty clinics (valve, arrhythmia, heart function, etc.) will be received in usual manner.

We will continue to aim for existing timelines to see outpatients, and will continue to accept acute referrals from emergency departments.

Most outpatients will be seen remotely via Ontario Telehealth Network or telephone follow-up
Only those who require in-person physical assessment will to be seen in outpatient clinic.

FAX 905-577-8037 or email hhscardiologyclinic@hhsc.ca

Referral forms:

Diagnostic Programs: Echo, nuclear cardiology & CT angiography

Outpatient diagnostic programs for urgent (inpatients and outpatients) and emergent studies ONLY
Non-invasive ECG monitoring is available.

Equipment will be shipped to and from the patient’s house directly via courier, without the need for a hospital or clinic visit.
Contact information: tbd

Heart Investigation Unit (HIU) Cardiac Catheterization/PCI
HIU will:
• provide timely review and triage of new patient referrals
• identification of patients who need urgent treatment
• appropriate review of wait-listed and timely access as feasible for Cath/PCI for hospitalized urgent patients and high risk outpatients
• provide appropriate follow-up recommendations

Referrals
New referrals are faxed into HIU Triage Office as usual.

Patient information will be reviewed by HIU Triage Team according to:
a) Clinical information on symptoms status, co-morbidities etc.
b) Non-invasive testing including ECG and echocardiography +/- other invasive/non-invasive testing

Central Triage will continue for Hamilton and Niagara HIU:

For all inpatient referrals for cath/PCI will be reviewed by HIU triage and on-call interventional cardiologist.

For all outpatient referrals the HIU Prioritization Scheme will be followed. Triage team will consult with interventional cardiologist in HIU as required to assess priority.

For emergency referrals, the interventional cardiology hotline will continue to function 24/7.

Contact information:

HIU Central Triage Office is available on weekdays to provide updates and answer enquiries from physician offices, hospitals and patients.

HIU Triage Office:
905-577-1417

HIU Outpatient Booking Office: 905-521-2100 ext 41709

Cardiac Surgery Triage Office: 905-577-8019

Diagnostic Imaging

DI is prioritizing studies that must be done and assessing which studies can safely wait. Non-urgent studies are being rebooked in early Fall.

DI will track rescheduled bookings and, if or when we able, Referring physicians will be notified of any rebooking.

If the status of your patient changes and need for imaging or testing becomes more urgent please contact our department.

Booking turnaround time

Based on these circumstances, booking turnaround time to provide appointments to new referrals will be prioritized regarding urgency.

Non-urgent referrals will most likely experience much longer wait times.

Contact information:

Colposcopy & Ontario Cervical Screening Program

Non-urgent colposcopy services are postponed in accordance with Cancer Care Ontario Pandemic Planning Guidelines.

Colposcopy care and treatment for patients with high grade cervical and vulvar lesions will continue. Patients with low grade disease are being deferred for a period of at least 3 months.

Care that will continue to be scheduled at this time include:
• High grade cervical lesions (HSIL, ASC-H, LSIL-H, and AGC)
• Patients with VIN2/3 and CIN2/3 lesions

Ontario Cervical Screening Program
Routine screening as part of the Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP) should be deferred as screening activities are not recommended for a healthy population during a pandemic.

Referrals:
Continue to send referrals using the colposcopy referral form and we will prioritize and book according to established guidelines during this time.

Please consider e-consult for concerns related to cases of an abnormal cervical lesion.

Gastroenterology including 2F Clinic, Surgical Clinic, Endoscopy

Providing urgent and emergent procedures only.
If the status of your patient changes or becomes more urgent, please contact our department.

Referrals to the gastroenterology 2F clinic, surgical clinic, and endoscopy services will be received and triaged in the usual manner.

Contact information:
Specialists’ offices as listed under HHS directory

Geriatrics

Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) and Specialized Geriatric Services (SGS) including Geriatric Medicine and Geriatric Psychiatry continues to receive referrals.

Telephone and virtual visits are being offered to some patients, and most face-to-face activities have been paused.

If your patient experiences changes that may affect referral urgency, please contact:

BSO/SGS Central Clinical Intake
Phone: 905-521-2100 ext. 12221
Fax: 1-855-406-2163
Email: gericentralintake@hhsc.ca

Gynaecology

Gynaecology, Contraception and Family Planning, Minimally Invasive Gynaecology and Urogynaecology

Existing referrals and scheduled new appointments to Gynaecology, Contraception and Family Planning, Minimally Invasive Gynaecology and Urogynaecology in 2F at McMaster at this time are being reviewed for virtual/remote visits only.

At this time we are not accepting new referrals. We ask that referring physicians defer sending non-urgent referrals as bookings cannot be planned at this time due to constraints from Covid-19 in our efforts to keep our patients safe.

Women’s Clinic
The Women’s Clinic remains a resource for women requiring abortion services. The clinic can be reached at 905-389-5068 or womensclinic@hhsc.ca.

Medical management by referring physicians
We encourage our referring colleagues to continue to offer appropriate medical management to their gynaecology patients to reduce the need for patients to come to the hospital in extremis during this time. For example, hormonal suppressive therapy for abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea. For patients requiring contraception, please provide alternative options for these patients to avoid the sequelae of unintended pregnancy during a pandemic.
• Please refer to SOGC guidelines as an additional resource for evaluation and management options at https://www.sogc.org.
Urgent/emergent gynecologic referrals
Urgent/emergent cases include: significant symptomatic vaginal bleeding refractory to medical therapy, malignancy, ovarian torsion, ectopic pregnancy, significant early pregnancy bleeding (less than 20 weeks gestational age).
For urgent/emergent referrals, please contact the gynaecologist on call via Hamilton Health Sciences switchboard at 905-521-2100. The Gynaecologist on call will triage calls and direct patient care.

Urgent/emergent obstetrical referrals
For urgent/emergent obstetrical concerns greater than 20 weeks gestational age, contact the obstetrician on call via Hamilton Health Sciences switchboard at 905-521-2100.
(see Obstetrics for further details)

Medical Diagnostic Unit

MDU is prioritizing studies that must be done and assessing which studies can safely wait. Non-urgent studies are being rebooked in early Fall.

We will keep track of rescheduled bookings and if or when we are able, we will re-contact referring physicians to move up patients’ appointments.

If the status of your patient changes and need for imaging or testing becomes more urgent please contact our department.

Booking turnaround time

Based on these circumstances, booking turnaround time to provide appointments to new referrals will be prioritized regarding urgency.

Non-urgent referrals will most likely experience much longer wait times.

Contact information: tbd

Nuclear Medicine
Tests and procedures that do not immediately impact patient management are being deferred, particularly Bone Mineral Density and C-14 Urea Breath testing.

Urgent Ventilation and Perfusion Scans are available.

Urgent and semi-urgent oncologic, cardiac, and infection related tests and procedures are available.

Tests and Procedures related to urgent oncologic surgeries (Sentinel Nodes and I-125 seed implantation) are being continued.
To facilitate scheduling referring physicians should indicate urgent/or semi-urgent on requisitions.

Contact information: tbd

Obstetrics

Obstetrical care continues as scheduled during the pandemic.

Visitors
No partners or visitors permitted for clinic visits.
One support person permitted to attend delivery and remain with obstetrical patient post-delivery provided they meet the screening criteria guidelines.

Urgent concerns

Please follow usual process through Patient experience or manager
Caroline Dunnett – Clinical Leader Ward 4C and Labour and Delivery Email: dunnettc@hhsc.ca Cell: 905-870-1084
Lyndsay Martin – Manager, Ward 4C and Labour and Delivery Email: martinlynd@hhsc.ca

For urgent/emergent obstetrical concerns greater than 20 weeks gestational age, contact the OBSTETRICIAN on call via Hamilton Health Sciences switchboard at 905-521-2100

What's New

Job Postings

We’re hiring for a Medical Director for the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Management Clinic

Hamilton Health Sciences seeks a Medical Director for the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Management Clinic, which is aligned with the Department of Anesthesia.
View posting.

What’s New

IDDSI Dysphagia Diet Change

Changes to dysphagia diet names will be occurring in late June 2019. For more information, please see the Communication Note and the Translating Thick Fluids Guide.

2019 Crucial Conversations – Special Offering for Physicians

The Centre for People Development is offering the Crucial Conversations course for Physicians again this year! Physicians are awarded 10.75 MOC Section 1 Credits upon completion of this course. The course will run on the following dates:

2019 Annual Reappointments

Annual Reappointment Applications were due Friday March 8, 2019. Please contact the Credentials Office if you have any questions.

Behaviour Safety Risk Protocol

A Behaviour Safety Risk (BSR) Communication and Care Plan Program is now in place at all hospital sites to meet the health and safety needs of physicians, learners, staff and patients. To learn more, visit the BSR intranet page (access to Citrix required).

Physicians

Welcome to the Physician page – a collection of important resources for physicians and medical learners at Hamilton Health Sciences, as well as healthcare providers in the community.

Clinical Departments

Hamilton Health Sciences is home to 18 Clinical Departments servicing 2.3 million residents of Hamilton and South Central Ontario, Canada. To find out more information about each department, the Chief and other important information, please browse through each of the department pages.

If you don’t see your department’s page listed, please connect with your Chief’s Office.

Credentialing

The Credentials Office provides services to support the relationship between Hamilton Health Sciences/St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton/Niagara Health System and the Credentialed Professional Staff (physicians, dentists & midwives). The office supports the administration of new appointments, reappointments, and observers.

Learn more about appointments and observership.

Important Updates

N95 Mask Fit Test

Fit Tests are valid for 2 years. To book an appointment, please visit the HHS Intranet, click on Health Safety & Wellness, Select Safety Services and click N95 Fit Testing Clinic on the right hand side.

Contact

  • Crystal Zdriluk, Credentials Associate – New Appointments, ext. 72340, zdrilukc@hhsc.ca
  • Huyam Abdelhalim, Credentials Associate – Reappointments (Niagara Health), ext. 75461, abdelhuy@hhsc.ca
  • Kristi Van den Heuvel, Credentials Coordinator, ext. 44384, vandenhk@hhsc.ca

Medical Advisory Committee

The Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) is accountable to the Board of Directors in accordance with the Public Hospitals Act. The committee is in place to promote the highest standards of medical care and professionalism throughout the hospital.

View the Medical Staff Organizational Chart.

The MAC has a number of subcommittees which provides for leadership opportunities for physicians and service to monitor and improve policies and quality initiatives. These subcommittees include:

  • Clinical Ethics – Andrea Frolic
  • Credentials – Paul Miller
  • Death Review – Paul Miller
  • Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board (HiREB) – Fred Spencer, Mark Inman
  • Health Records – Dereck Hunt
  • Medical Directives and Authorizing Mechanisms (MAMS) – Pam Hewitson, Cindy Hamielec
  • Medical Education – Alison Fox-Robichaud
  • Order Sets Committee – Rob Lloyd, Joanne Wright, Leslie Cicero David Millar
  • Organ/Tissue Donation – Isabel Hayward, Nancy Glover
  • Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) – Farzin Visram, Marita Tonkin, Nancy Nesathurai
  • Regional Infection Prevention – Dominik Mertz
  • Transfusion Medicine – Ted Warkentin

The MAC provides general supervision over the practice of medicine, dentistry and midwifery in the hospital and is an important link to addressing issues that impact Professional Staff members (physicians, dentists and midwives) clinically and professionally. The MAC makes recommendations to the Board of Directors concerning matters prescribed by the Public Hospitals Act including:

  • The quality of care provided in the Hospitals by the Professional Staff
  • The By-Laws respecting any Professional Staff
  • Privileges granted to each member of the Professional Staff
  • Appointment and reappointment to the Professional Staff
  • The dismissal, suspension or restrictions of privileges of any member of the Professional Staff

The MAC also facilitates the development and maintenance of Rules and Regulations, Policies and ethical guidelines and procedures related to the roles of the Professional Staff.

MAC Chair – Dr. Smita Halder

Assistant: Karen MacDonald, macdokar@hhsc.ca

The Chair is appointed by the Board for a 3 year term (renewable once). The Chair will provide leadership in the establishment of an interdisciplinary approach to patient and family-centered care and service and work to create an environment that promotes commitment to continuous improvement of patient outcomes. The role is defined by both the Public Hospitals Act and our Corporate Bylaws. The Chair of the MAC is a member of the Board of HHS and a number of quality and policy committees throughout HHS.

Medical Staff Association

All eligible Medical Staff are automatically granted membership to the MSA, for the duration of their Medical Staff status at HHS.

The MSA represents and advocates on behalf of the medical staff at all Hamilton Health Sciences sites. Our objectives are:

  • to ensure excellence in patient care at HHS
  • to create an environment of trust for the Medical Staff
  • to support the best interests and advocate for the Medical staff
  • to foster leadership development to ensure the Medical Staff can play an effective role in HHS governance, decision-making, and planning

Learn more about the Medical Staff Association.

Medical Affairs

The Department of Medical Affairs supports the relationship between the Professional Staff, Medical Trainees, and the Hospital. Working closely with medical leaders, hospital administrative leaders, McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and the research institutes, the Department of Medical Affairs supports processes such as:

  • Credentialing & Reappointment of all Professional Staff
  • Career and Leadership Development of physicians
  • Medical Learner support
  • Physician Orientation
  • Physician remuneration (HOCC payments, physician leadership stipends)
  • Related Contracts

Contact

Physician Engagement

The Physician Hospital Partnership-Implementation Group (PHP-IG) is a committee comprised of physicians and administrative members of Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) working to create a culture of mutual respect and trust between HHS and the Medical Staff members. The committee works to:

  • Implement mechanisms, tools, and resources to enhance physician engagement.
  • Ensure that HHS and the Medical Staff have a partnership based relationship.
  • Create mechanisms and systems to ensure that the expertise of our physicians informs organizational decision making, in a model of shared accountability.
  • For HHS and the Medical Staff to action on identified priorities related to making HHS the workplace of choice and a great place to practice medicine.

View a timeline of the Physician-Hospital Partnership work.

Spring 2017 Summit

On April 10, 2017, the Physician-Hospital Partnership Group hosted the Spring Summit: a discussion on collaborative decision-making. The evening brought together physicians and hospital leaders at Hamilton Health Sciences to better understand how we can be more collaborative in decision-making at our organization.

For a complete summary of the evening, please see the Spring Summit Summary Report.

Want to get involved? email php@hhsc.ca.

Post-Summit Working Groups

To address the ideas and opportunities resulting from the Spring Summit, 3 short term Working Groups were created:

Organizational Structures to Encourage Physician Collaboration

This group will work to understand how to align the organizational chart for HHS with the physician leadership and departments. We have heard that there is an opportunity to improve navigating the system and supporting more opportunities for collaborations. The working group will discuss what this should entail, how we will create a tool, document or other recommendations, and in what given timeline. This could include a current listing of 4 or 5 key committees per portfolio or perhaps a larger view of committees, to allow physicians to connect with the chairs to participate in some capacity. There may be a way to provide options on ways to involve physicians, and at a minimum, help to indicate the structure to allow easier navigation for physicians when they identify opportunities. The group will work on options, and ideas, stemming from all discussions at the Summit.

Decision-Making & Partnering With Physicians Framework

This group will work to understand and determine what the framework might look like, and how we facilitate decision-making and partnership with physicians within our organization. This work stems from the Staffing Models, Clinical Service & Planning & Equipment discussions at the Summit.

Hospital Funding Education

This group will work to understand how we can engage physicians and deliver educational tools to increase awareness and understanding of Hamilton Health Science’s funding model. This work stems from the Budget, Equipment, Staffing Models & Clinical Service & Planning discussions at the Summit.

Membership

  • Dr. Steven Arora, Physician, Department of Pediatrics
  • Laurie Fox, Director, Medical Affairs
  • Donna LaForce, Director, HHS Sustainability
  • Dr. Barry Lumb, Physician-in-Chief, Department of Medicine
  • Dr. Richard McLean, Former EVP Interprofessional Practice & Chief Medical Executive
  • Dr. Paul Miller, Physician, Chair Medical Advisory Committee, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Thomas Perry, Public Relations Specialist
  • Rosalie Prokopetz, Manager, Physician Affairs, Human Resources
  • Lisa Reid, Manager, Medical Affairs
  • Dr. Catherine Ross, Physician, Department of Laboratory Medicine
  • Dr. Michael Stacey, EVP Interprofessional Practice & Chief Medical Executive
  • Kara Campea-Langdon, Talent & OD Specialist, Talent & Organizational Development
  • Dr. Smita Halder, Physician, Department of Medicine
  • Dr. Robert Lloyd, Physician, Department of Pediatrics
  • Rob MacIsaac, President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr. John Mernagh, Physician, MSA Executive Member, Department of Diagnostic Imaging
  • Dr. Susan O’Leary, Chief, Department of Anesthesia
  • Elaine Principi, Chief of Interprofessional Practice, Juravinski
  • Sandra Ramelli, Director, Office of the CEO & Organizational Development
  • Dr. Chris Ricci, Physician, President MSA, Department of Anesthesia
  • Dr. Nishma Singhal, Physician, Chair PHP-IG, Public Department of Medicine
  • Erika Unelli, Medical Affairs Specialist, Medical Affairs

Accreditation 2019

Accreditation sends a strong signal to our patients and our community that Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is deeply committed to safety, quality and operational excellence. Just as important, accreditation also provides critical feedback in the continuous improvement cycle at our hospital. Every four years, the accreditation process recognizes what we are doing exceptionally well and provides guidance on what we can do better.

HHS was proud to achieve “Exemplary Standing” with Accreditation Canada in 2011 and 2015. We are now pursuing our third consecutive ‘Exemplary Standing’ with Accreditation Canada in 2019. The onsite visit will take place June 17 to 21, 2019. Please take the time to learn more about how you can be prepared.

Medical Learners & Residents

Hamilton Health Sciences is proud to partner with McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences to offer a unique academic environment for medical students and residents to learn and provide highly skilled care to our patients in the process.

If you are unsure who to contact with your questions, you can contact the Medical Affairs team at resorient@hhsc.ca or at ext. 44281.

Please see our Things to Know tip sheet for important information for residents!

Resident Information, Pay & Benefits

Residents are paid by Hamilton Health Sciences, and as such are considered employees of the organization. Residents can access personal information & pay slips via myHR – HHS’ online HR system.

If you:

  • Need to update personal information (contact info, mailing address etc)
  • Have questions pertaining to your pay
  • Have questions pertaining to your benefits
  • Have questions pertaining to the myHR system

…please contact Human Resources at myHR@hhsc.ca or call ext. 46947.

Resources

Call Stipends

Call stipends entries are due 30 days following the month in which the call was worked.

To submit your calls, please visit https://hhsstipend.hhsc.ca/.

Stipends are paid on a quarterly basis on the second pay of the month in:

  • October
  • January
  • April
  • July

For more information on call stipends (types of call, due dates, maximums), please visit the PARO website.

If you have any questions about your stipends, please contact resorient@hhsc.ca.

Call Rooms

Call rooms are available weekdays from 4:00 p.m. – return key by 9:00 a.m. – and weekends from 12:00 p.m. (MUMC), 1:00 p.m. (HGH & JH) – return key by 9:00 a.m.

Key boxes can be found in the following locations:

  • Hamilton General Hospital – Level 2 near Emergency
  • Juravinski – B3 Call Room Area
  • McMaster – 3E Call Room Area

Note: Please remove all personal items when vacating the call room. Failure to return a key will result in a $150 replacement charge.

Lockers

Lockers are available for day use only.

Lockers at the Hamilton General are located on Level 0, Room 12 (code is same as call room area). For lockers at the Juravinski and McMaster sites, please contact your program.

Miscellaneous

Prior to your first day, the team at the Postgraduate Medical Education Office will arrange for items including:

  • Badge
  • IT Access
  • Dictation Number
  • ScrubEx Access
  • Pager
  • Parking
  • Initial Mask-Fit

If you have any questions about these items, please contact the PGME Office at pgmeres@mcmaster.ca.

Referral Forms

Our referral library contains a comprehensive list of requisition and referral forms.