From modest beginnings
In 1953, Hôpital Saint‑Louis‑Marie‑de‑Montfort offered all of the usual services found in a Catholic hospital of the time: an emergency room, an operating room, pediatric, obstetrics and radiology departments, a laboratory, a pharmacy and 200 beds. The departments of family medicine, surgery and anesthesia were established a few months later. Orthopedics was added in 1957.
In the 1970s, managers of the public community hospital devised a plan to expand hospital services gradually, as financial resources allowed. The hospital was quick to experience a new rush of success when two services vital to the development of its role in the medical community came into existence.
First of all, the hospital opened an intensive care unit. Located on the 5th floor of what was then the North Wing, it included eight beds equipped with a state-of-the-art medical and telemetric data transmission system along with a central monitoring station. Next came a thirty-bed psychiatric department, making Hôpital Montfort the first Ontario hospital to offer mental health services in French.
The hospital was granted a 37-bed chronic care unit but lost its 35-bed pediatric service when a ministerial order obliged all children’s services in area hospitals to relocate their services to the new Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
The 1980s also saw their share of changes. Technology reigned supreme on Montreal Road with the arrival of an ultrasound machine, the latest trend in echography. This period was also marked by the saga of the hospital’s renovation and expansion. In order to meet the acute needs of the community it served, the hospital began lobbying government authorities to obtain approval and funding to expand the floor area of its emergency room from 1,000 to 15,000 square feet.
Toward the late 1980s, administrators realized that the hospital was no longer meeting the community’s needs. They shifted the focus to ambulatory care, and established a day surgery clinic for minor surgery performed under local anesthesia, and an out-patient clinic for consultations and diagnostic tests not requiring hospitalization.
In 1990, the hospital broke ground on Phase II of the expansion project and began construction of the South Wing. Once the work was completed, the hospital started renovating its laboratory and diagnostic imaging facilities to accommodate a CT Scan in 1993, an advanced technology allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment, while reducing patient hospitalizations and inter-hospital transfers.
In 1995, Hôpital Montfort launched two new services:
- The telemeter is a portable instrument which provides users with freedom of movement all the while ensuring constant cardiac monitoring and consequently, rapid detection of related problems. Without it, cardiac patients need to be under observation in a hospital setting. Thus, the telemeter is not only an effective diagnostic tool, it frees up hospital resources (staff and beds).
- The Family Birthing Centre provides a unique environment in which to welcome newborns into the world. The birthing rooms are spacious enough to house cutting edge technology and allow immediate family members to be part of the birthing process. Mother and baby remain together at all times in the same room until the child is ready to leave the hospital. The Centre is so popular that many women in the Gatineau region chose to give birth at the Montfort birthing center.
Later on, encephalographic and cardiorespiratory services were made available.
At the turn of the century, Montfort got a CT Scan, but not just any CT Scan. It purchased the Aquillon model made by Toshiba. This model is so fast that it could seize a picture of a beating heart between beats. Only one other hospital in Canada had an Aquillon. Indeed, Montfort was the only hospital in all of North America at that time to have a multi-sectional CT Scan able to transmit computerized images.
Montfort in the 21st Century
The first few decades of the 21st century will be no exception to the expansion that characterized previous decades. Once the Government of Ontario announced that it would not challenge the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in favour of Hôpital Montfort, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care gave the green light to planning for a physical expansion of the hospital. It was allocated 47 new acute care beds, and 21 rehabilitation beds to meet the needs of the Francophone community.
The new services that Hôpital Montfort will offer its clients in the early years include:
- the Behaviour and Metabolism Research Unit of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Health Sciences, whose mission is to prevent and treat obesity;
- the Sleep Laboratory, dedicated to the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of sleep disorders;
- the Pediatric Clinic, which studies the psychomotor and physiological development of infants (0 to 6 months) and treats related pathologies;
- the Hip and Knee Replacement Evaluation Clinic which determines whether patients are good candidates for joint replacement surgery;
- the Palliative Care Program, designed to support patients with progressive and incurable diseases;
- the interdisciplinary Cardiovascular Health Service for patients with, or at risk of developing, cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases; and
- a new operating room for minimally invasive laparoscopies.
The hospital also acquired a digital Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine which It set up at its Santé Montfort Health satellite office in Orleans, thus becoming the first hospital in Ontario to open an MRI center at the heart of the community. When the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care approved a second MRI for Montfort in 2008, it was retained within the hospital walls.
By 2010, the hospital’s transformation, commenced in 2002, was completed: all health care teams had been moved into their permanent locations in the new establishment—the New Montfort—and were ready to care for hospitalized patients and ambulatory service clients.
The Health Services Accreditation Process
If you are ever inside the main entrance of Hôpital Montfort, look to the cement column behind the volunteers’ reception desk. Look way up and you will notice two banners located on either side of that column. Those banners proclaim that the institution in which you are standing was the recipient of an exceptional designation in 2011 from Accreditation Canada.
Accreditation Canada is a private, independent and not-for-profit organization that evaluates the quality of health care agencies against national standards of excellence. These standards examine all aspects of health care, from patient safety and ethics, to staff training and partnering with the community.
Hospital accreditation is based on the voluntary participation of administrative authorities and hospital medical staff who work together to develop a program of ongoing monitoring and improvement of patient care. This status is reviewed every three years upon expiry of the certificate and certifies that the hospital meets the required standards.
Hôpital Montfort has willingly submitted to accreditation reviews over the years and has been duly recognized by Accreditation Canada’s predecessors, for example:
- Hôpital Saint‑Louis‑Marie‑de‑Montfort received its first accreditation certificate in 1956 from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.
- The public hospital received its first certificate in 1969 from the Canadian Council on Hospital Accreditation certifying that it had met accreditation standards.
- In 1996, the hospital received the highest accreditation level issued by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA).
- In 2002, the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) granted Hôpital Montfort the highest distinction possible with a superior rating.
Hôpital Montfort is proud to have been granted in 2011 a special Accreditation with Mention designation from Accreditation Canada. This designation indicates that the hospital has exceeded basic standards and offers the best quality of care possible.
The hospital received a compliance score of 95 percent during its evaluation. Indeed, only 20 percent of Canadian hospitals have managed to obtain such an unconditional accreditation.
Finally, the hospital went on to obtain the highest rating assigned by Accreditation Canada, Accreditation with Honourable Mention, in 2014.
Take a look at the photo album of staff and clinical care
Discover other highlights of Montfort...
Discover the administration of the Montfort Hospital for the past 60 years.
Look at the photo album of the Board and that of CEOs.