PAIN FREE initiative wins MUHC Challenge Q+ award

Interdisciplinary team to use $150,000 prize to improve continuum of care for seniors who present to the Emergency Department with fractures

Front row left to right:
Valerie Shannon, Chair of the MGH Corporation, Maryse Godin,Clinicial Nurse Specialist, Emergency Department, Montreal General Hospital, Dr. Suzanne Morin, Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, MUHC, Mrs. Brenda McGibbon-Taylor, reprensenting the MUHC Patients' Committee

Back row left to right: Normand Rinfret, Director General and CEO, Richard Lachance, VP Development and Assistance, Québec Blue Cross, Claudio Bussandri, Chair, MUHC Board of Directors, Patricia Lefebvre, Director of Quality, Patient Safety and Performance, MUHC

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) granted $150,000 to fund a creative new project during the 2012 Challenge Q+ award ceremony last night. The Challenge Q+ is a new MUHC quality improvement initiative created to encourage innovation and creativity in patient care. The money will be used by the MUHC adult Emergency Departments (ED) to develop a program to help seniors with bone fractures cope with their pain and reduce the chances of adverse medical complications.

“The goal of the PAIN FREE project, which stands for Improving PAIN control following FRactures; towards an Elder-friendly Emergency department, is to improve acute pain management for older adults, including those with cognitive impairment, who arrive in the ED with a low-trauma bone fracture,” said Dr. Suzanne Morin of the MUHC Division of General Internal Medicine, who submitted the winning application with her team. “The specific objectives are to estimate the extent to which a multifaceted intervention will improve pain management and reduce the incidence of adverse events such as delirium, side effects of medication, prolonged length of stay in the ED and ‘bounce-back’ visits.”

The Challenge Q+ selection committee was impressed that the PAIN FREE project aims to improve patient outcomes across the entire continuum of care, through the experience of both patients and families. It features multi-disciplinary teams caring for the patients from the moment they present in the ED at the Montreal General, Royal Victoria and Lachine hospitals through to discharge, while partnering with the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal and the entire healthcare network. In addition, PAIN FREE targets the 75 years and over patient population, which represents 16 to 21 per cent of MUHC patients on any given day — a demographic that will continue to grow in the future. PAIN FREE was chosen as the winning project from nine that were submitted for Challenge Q+.

“The Montreal General Hospital Corporation was instrumental in proposing that the MUHC establish this quality improvement award with the support of the private sector,” said Valerie Shannon, chair of the Challenge Q+ selection committee and past MUHC director of Nursing. “Consequently, we partnered with Québec Blue Cross, who graciously donated $100,000 to the initiative.”

“As a long-time partner of the MUHC, we praise its culture of excellence and are proud to support the MUHC Challenge Q+,” said Vice-President of Assistance and Development for Québec Blue Cross Richard Lachance. “The contribution to healthcare services quality improvement is a commitment that is at the core of our key mission.”

Six of the MUHC hospital foundations (Lachine Hospital Foundation, Montreal Chest Institute Foundation, Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation, Montreal General Hospital Foundation, Montreal Neurological Hospital Foundation and Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation) also contributed $50,000. In addition, ongoing support will be available from the MUHC departments of Finance, Human Resources, Information Services and Quality, Patient Safety and Performance.

According to Ann Lynch, MUHC associate director general, Clinical Operations and Nursing Affairs, the Challenge Q+ is in itself an innovation. "By seeking out private sector contributions to improve quality of care in the health network, we are demonstrating that creativity is an essential and inexhaustible source of solutions for our healthcare system."

One of the main objectives of this award is to promote, support and reward a culture of quality. “A growing body of evidence supports inter-professional collaboration on quality initiatives because it improves the experience that patients and their families have in healthcare settings. Such an approach reduces, amongst others, hospital-associated infections, length of stay as well as morbidity and mortality,” says Normand Rinfret, MUHC director general and CEO. “That's why encouraging and sustaining collaborative excellence in quality at the MUHC is a priority.”

The winning team is composed of:

  • Suzanne Morin - internist at the MGH and RVH and researcher
  • Maryse Godin, Danielle Lamarche, Manon Latendresse - clinical nurse leaders at MGH, RVH and Lachine
  • Jean-Marc Troquet, Marie-Thérèse Pham - directors of the Emergency Departments at MGH-RVH and Lachine
  • David Lussier, Nadine Larente - MUHC geriatricians
  • Eric Villeneuve – pharmacist at ED at the MGH
  • Nancy Mayo – researcher, Division of Clinical Epidemiology at the MUHC
  • Brenda McGibbon-Taylor, representative of the MUHC Users’ Committee


About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) One of the world’s foremost academic health centres, the MUHC offers exceptional and integrated patient-centric care, research, teaching and technology assessment. Highly committed to the continuum of care in its community and affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, The Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC value multidisciplinary service throughout the lifespan, innovative technologies and practices, strategic partnerships and leadership in knowledge transfer. The MUHC is currently carrying out a $2.355-billion Redevelopment Project on three campuses—the Mountain, the Glen and Lachine—designed to provide healthcare professionals with an effective environment in which to ensure patients and their families benefit from The Best Care for Life. The campuses are also anchored in best sustainable-development practices, including LEED® and BOMA BESt guidelines. 
- 30 -For more information:

Tamarah Feder,
Public Affairs and Strategic Planning 
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Tel: 514 934-1934, ext. 71440
E mail: tamarah [dot] feder [at] muhc [dot] mcgill [dot] ca