Get to Know: Leo Zhu, Emergency Department Manager

By Bridget Burling

As the manager of Emergency Services, my new role is to foster an environment that can provide quality and safe patient care. We are always engaged in quality improvement projects, LEAN initiatives, and patient safety events. The goal is to achieve a high standard patient-centred Emergency Department. This also aligns with our corporate strategic direction and program goal. Also, my role is to engage and empowering all emergency staff to work together towards common goals.

What makes you proud of the Emergency Department at HRH?

What makes me proud of the Emergency Department is that we are a resilient team. Our healthcare system and society have gone through a considerable amount of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes include how we operate in a healthcare setting, which has additional stress on the staff, physicians and volunteers. During this time in our Emergency Department, for example, we have created many different versions of patient flow based on the new public health and infection and prevention control guidelines. What makes me so proud is that we all adopted the changes very well, and we are all being resilient to continue to support our patients and family. The team is truly the best part of working at our Emergency Department. I consistently say that I am not here alone; we are here together as a team.

What are some of your most significant accomplishments at HRH?

I supported the staff through the transition from a three-site hospital to our Wilson site in 2016 by combining the two legacy emergency departments. The entire team worked relentlessly towards a smooth transition while maintaining the operation of the legacy sites. I feel very accomplished, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime memory.

Since the transition to our new hospital site, our daily patient visit volume increased significantly. This led to the increasing demand for a more ready-to-work emergency workforce. My colleague Rosa and I were able to train more than one hundred nurses over three years. With the increased number of new staff, we were able to balance the department’s nursing skills mix to support all different areas of the department. In addition, we were able to reduce agency use by $520,000 each year.

What technology at HRH excites you?

I am very excited that we are implementing a Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) in our emergency department. CPOE allows the physician to enter orders directly into a computer without handwriting. This initiative can reduce miscommunication errors with order entry and improve patient care with clinical decision support systems. This initiative gives us another opportunity to engage clinical practitioners to improve the quality and safety of the Emergency Department.

What motivates you?

Helping others and empowering our staff is what motivates me the most. Knowing that my hard work and presence will support our team, which we can achieve greater professional success, is what keeps me going. I feel that aligning our hospital’s vision and value with my own is one way to accomplish that. When I know that my efforts follow the correct path, it encourages me to challenge myself and push more. Therefore, success is important both at a personal and an organizational level.