Annual Accessibility Plan

Atikokan General Hospital Services

Annual Accessibility Plan For the Atikokan General Hospital

December 2017
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Annual Accessibility Plan

for the Atikokan General Hospital
January 2018 – December 2019

Submitted to
DOUG MOYNIHAN
C E O

September 2004 (Original)
Sept/05; Sept/06; Sept/07; Sept/08; Sept/09; Oct/10; Mar/12 (R); Nov/13(R); Jan/14(R); Dec/15 (R); Dec/17 (R)

Prepared by Accessibility Committee Chair

Table of Contents

  1. Aim
  2. Description of Atikokan General Hospital
  3. Hospital commitment to accessibility
  4. The Accessibility Committee
  5. Previous Inspections and Results
  6. Progress towards barrier-free status
  7. Current Barriers identified
  8. Barriers that will be addressed in 2018-19
  9. Review and monitoring process
  10. Communication of the plan

AIM

This plan describes (1) the measures that the Atikokan General Hospital has taken in the past, and (2) the measures that the Atikokan General Hospital will take during the next multi-year period to identify, remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities who live, work in or use the hospital, including clients and their family members, staff, health care practitioners, volunteers and members of the community.

DESCRIPTION OF THE ATIKOKAN GENERAL HOSPITAL

The Atikokan General Hospital was constructed in 1974 and the extended care wing added in 1984. Redevelopments took place in 2015-2017 with the addition of a new acute care wing and refurbishment and expansion of the extended care wing. This 41-bed hospital services over 5,000 people and employs 100. Community counselling services are off-site in rented office space owned by the municipality. A house that accommodates up to 4 clients for a Mental Health Homelessness Initiative project is owned by the Hospital.

Mission

Partnering to achieve continual improvement in health outcomes for Atikokan.

Vision

A community providing healthcare closer to home.

Our values are

  • Dignity
  • Integrity
  • Hospitality
  • Creativity
  • Learning and Growth
  • Compassion

Hospital Commitment to Accessibilty

The Hospital has adopted the following commitments to Accessibility, as stated in the Hospital’s Accessibility for Customer Service Policy:
The Atikokan General Hospital is committed to:

  • Providing exceptional and accessible service for its clients.
  • Ensuring that our policies and procedures are consistent with the principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equality.
  • Integrating the provision of services to persons with disabilities wherever possible, unless an alternate measure is necessary.
  • Giving equal opportunities to people with disabilities.

THE ACCESSIBILITY Committee

Establishment of the Accessibility Committee

Past CEO Kelly Isfan formally constituted what was then the Accessibility Working Group in late August 2003. Present CEO Doug Moynihan re-named it to the Accessibility Committee. The responsibilities of the Committee are found in the Terms of Reference (Policy # GA-01-59), and include the following:

  • Guiding the hospital to be an organization that provides accessible customer service to people with disabilities
  • Regularly monitor progress on compliance with the four standards of ensuring accessibility contained in the Act
  • Plan strategies to ensure compliance with the Act
  • Review and update the Accessibility Report
  • Develop and maintain Accessibility Policies and Procedures as mandated by the Act.

The hospital’s accessibility plan, training, communication and accessibility policies were audited in 2013 by the province and found to be in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act (AODA). 

Over the years, the Accessibility Committee has consulted directly with people who have disabilities who have been willing to provide their input.

Previous Inspections and Results

In 2015 Pauline Ratelle, Occupational Therapist, toured the building with two individuals using assistive devices to identify barriers. At the time of the last review, the following two barriers were scheduled to be addressed:

Barrier
Signage for Wash-rooms

Objective
Graphic signage for Public Washrooms

Means to remove
Obtain proposed signs

Timing
Dec 2014

Responsibility
– Working group
– Maintenance to install

Barrier
Attitudinal

Objective
Train all staff on how to treat individuals with disabilities

Means to remove
Best practices on proper actions and Online training module by the OHA

Resources
OHA & Hospital Orientation check-list

Timing
On-going

Responsibility
– HR, Finance, Department heads
– Completed in 2010 and ongoing

Progress towards BARRIER-free status

Since the coming into force of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, many changes have been made in the hospital to improve accessibility.

A. Barriers identified in previous inspection:

In the previous inspection of the site in 2015, two barriers were identified as an area of focus (see # 5, above). Progress has been described below: 

  • Training on how to treat individuals with disabilities has been an ongoing process. Employees must review Accessibility training on an annual basis and pass an assessment of their competency; records of these annual reviews are kept on file. The hospital continues to be alert for new training methods and opportunities for growth as they become available. 
  • Graphical signage for public washrooms has mostly been implemented. Only one of our public washrooms does not have graphical signage as of this writing: room # L1-145, located in the Extended Care area. The Accessibility Committee will follow up with the Maintenance team to ensure that graphical signage is added.

B. Renovations and New Construction:

Some of the most significant changes with regards to accessibility have occurred as a result of the renovations to the Hospital that took place in 2015-2017.  These renovations involved the opening of a new Acute Care Wing and extensive renovations to the Extended Care facilities. Although many of the improvements were implemented with the goal of improving patient care, the resulting improvements will also be of benefit to clients, visitors, and guests of the Hospital. The improvements all met code requirements as of the finalization of the designs. The following accessibility improvements have been implemented:

 

  • Widening of corridors, doorways, and other passageways to accommodate assistive devices.
  • Installation of graphical signage, which includes Braille type where applicable.
  • Redesign of patient rooms allowing for improved accessibility and space for movement.
  • Improvements to lighting and visibility.
  • Increased storage space, enabling possible barriers to be removed and properly stored.
  • Public and private (for patients) washrooms are accessible.
  • New furniture and furnishings have been installed, which are more ergonomic and accessible than previous equipment.
  • Hand sanitizers are mounted lower than before and are being converted to motion-detecting models.
  • Handles for doors are accessible “wing-type” handles.
  • Exterior doors have been equipped with automatic door openers.
  • Handrails are mounted at the code-required elevation for accessible usage.

C. The Duty to Accommodate:

In order to ensure the full participation of all persons in the work environment, the Atikokan General Hospital has a duty to accommodate individuals who face barriers to employment.

Accommodations are presently facilitated through the Hospital’s Return to Work Policy. Human Resources is working with senior management to introduce a discrete Accommodation Policy. The purpose of this Policy will be:

  • To define what an accommodation is.
  • To define who is eligible for accommodations.
  • To define the process of requesting an accommodation.
  • To define expectations and processes once an accommodation is put into place.
  • To create an appeals process for unsuccessful accommodation requests.

Work on the Accommodation Policy will continue as part of the Hospital’s plans for 2018 (see Sec. 8, below).

Current Barriers Identified

In its review of 2017, the Accessibility Committee identified the barriers listed below. Where applicable, these barriers were reviewed in consultation with the Hospital’s Maintenance Department for opinions regarding possible strategies for removal/prevention.

#Type of BarrierDescription of BarrierStrategy for removal / preventionTimeline for removal / preventionResponsibility
1AttitudinalSome employees are unfamiliar with practices for persons who have service animals.Hospital to provide “refresher” training on Accessibility for all employees.Coincides with annual training review: April 2018Human Resources
2Built EnvironmentSome (but not all) Fire alarm pull handles are too high for persons who are in wheelchairs to reach.To be addressed as part of long-term renovation / new construction planning.TBDMaintenance
3Built EnvironmentIntercom cannot be heard in certain rooms- e.g.: Rehab Offices, Locker rooms.Efforts to fine-tune the intercom system are ongoing. Emergency codes are also announced though all telephones.

The Hospital is investigating the purchase of wireless notification devices for nursing staff.
Decision expected in 2018.Maintenance, Management,

JOHSC
4Built EnvironmentExtended Care Wing door- keypad numbers are worn off.

Also, not usable for the visually impaired- have to be able to see which keys to press.
This keypad will be removed once the new Extended Care Wing entrance enters service. At that point, this door will be exclusively for Rehab patient use.By end of February 2018Maintenance
5Built EnvironmentEmployee / staff washrooms may not be wheelchair accessible. Specifically, the employee washroom in Extended Care.Washrooms in new Acute Care Wing and on basement level are accessible. Any employees with mobility barriers will need to use the alternate washrooms.N/AManagement
6Information / CommunicationSignage inside building is lacking- difficult to know where you are going. New wing has improved signage, but more is needed.New signage has been ordered. Will include “signposts” at all entrances with text and graphics showing the locations of Hospital departments.By end of January 2018Maintenance, Management, Nursing
7Built EnvironmentX-Ray washroom is frequently used as a change room. It is small and cramped and not designed for this purpose.Long-term plans for renovations and new construction shall include improvements to Diagnostic Imaging design. In the meantime, employees will need to support patients who have difficulties changing.TBDManagement
8CommunicationLimited options to communicate with patients who cannot communicate verbally (e.g.: stroke victims, ESL, etc.)Create a flipchart / storyboard / visual aide that includes additional languages besides English.July 2018 (tentative)Accessibility Committee
9TechnologyToo many passwords to remember- difficult for an employee who has a memory impairment.No employees with such a barrier at present. Accommodations for such a barrier will be investigated should the need arise.N/AAccessibility Committee
10Organizational Practices / Built EnvironmentClutter that hinders accessibility: chairs in hallway for Lab patients, lack of storageTo be addressed as part of long-term renovation / new construction planning.TBDManagement
11Built EnvironmentPower outlets on wrong side of the wall in the ER Wing hallway. When people plug things in, it creates trip hazards and blocks the hallway.To be addressed as part of long-term renovation / new construction planning.TBDManagement
12Organizational PracticesAvailability of wheelchairs: difficult to track, not always available when needed, people take them and don’t put them back.Investigate replacing with transport chairs (used at the Regional Hospital).

Provide additional training to employees, information to public. Signage has been used in the past, but was ineffective.
TBDAccessibility Committee
13Communication / Attitudinal barrierUnsure if we have a list of interpreters / where to find interpreters.Update the list of interpreters. The Hospital has a list, but the list is outdated (revised Jul. 2014).OngoingAccessibility Committee
14CommunicationAccessibility pamphlet should be revised. Needs to be available in large print if needed.Create a committee to oversee design of a new Admission Package for all new admissions, i.e.: “Welcome to AGH- here’s what to expect”July 2018Admission Package committee
15Communication, TechnologyA telephone for public use would allow for self-service for patients with disabilities.Senior management currently working on a public access telephone solution that will preserve privacy and dignity of the user.TBDManagement
16TransportationHandi-Van only available during the daytime- services unavailable after 6:00 PM.Hospital could apply for a grant for funding, or issue a letter of support to the municipality if they desire more funding. Will be raised with Senior management.TBDAccessibility Committee
17AttitudinalSome employees are unfamiliar with practices for persons who have service animals.Hospital to provide “refresher” training on Accessibility for all employees.Coincides with annual training review: April 2018Human Resources
18Built EnvironmentIntercom cannot be heard in certain rooms- e.g.: Rehab Offices, Locker rooms.Efforts to fine-tune the intercom system are ongoing. Emergency codes are also announced though all telephones.Decision expected in 2018.Maintenance
19Built EnvironmentExtended Care Wing door- keypad numbers are worn off.

Also, not usable for the visually impaired- have to be able to see which keys to press.
This keypad will be removed once the new Extended Care Wing entrance enters service. At that point, this door will be exclusively for Rehab patient use.By end of February 2018Maintenance
20Information / CommunicationSignage inside building is lacking- difficult to know where you are going. New wing has improved signage, but more is needed.New signage has been ordered. Will include “signposts” at all entrances with text and graphics showing the locations of Hospital departments.By end of January 2018Maintenance
21CommunicationLimited options to communicate with patients who cannot communicate verbally (e.g.: stroke victims, ESL, etc.)Create a flipchart / storyboard / visual aide that includes additional languages besides English.July 2018 (tentative)Accessibility Committee
22TechnologyToo many passwords to remember- difficult for an employee who has a memory impairment.No employees with such a barrier at present. Accommodations for such a barrier will be investigated should the need arise.End of January 2018Accessibility Committee
23Organizational PracticesAvailability of wheelchairs: difficult to track, not always available when needed, people take them and don’t put them back.Investigate replacing with transport chairs (used at the Regional Hospital).

Provide additional training to employees, information to public. Signage has been used in the past, but was ineffective.
TBDAccessibility Committee
24Communication / Attitudinal barrierUnsure if we have a list of interpreters / where to find interpreters.Update the list of interpreters. The Hospital has a list, but the list is outdated (revised Jul. 2014).2018Accessibility Committee
25CommunicationAccessibility pamphlet should be revised. Needs to be available in large print if needed.Create a committee to oversee design of a new Admission Package for all new admissions, i.e.: “Welcome to AGH- here’s what to expect”July 2018Admission Package committee
26Communication, TechnologyA telephone for public use would allow for self-service for patients with disabilities.Senior management currently working on a public access telephone solution that will preserve privacy and dignity of the user.2018Management
27TransportationHandi-Van only available during the daytime- services unavailable after 6:00 PM.Hospital could apply for a grant for funding, or issue a letter of support to the municipality if they desire more funding. Will be raised with Senior management.TBDAccessibility Committee

Review and Monitor Process

The Accessibility Committee will meet regularly to review progress. The Committee will remind staff, either through personal contacts or by e-mail, about their roles in implementing the plan. Updates will be made to the Joint Health and Safety Committee on a regular basis. 

The Accessibility Committee Chairperson met with CEO Doug Moynihan in December 2017 and the plan was accepted.

Communication of the Plan

A hard copy of the hospital’s accessibility plan will be posted on the Health and Safety board, the patient lounge, the extended care wing, Community Counselling office and the Supportive House. The plan can be made available in alternate formats- such as large print- upon request. The plan will also be posted on the hospital website.

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