Two hospitals - both excellent when it comes to the medicine practiced - one just does a better job than the other when it comes to

News 100 redBy Staff

August 5th, 2020



Two people about a decade apart in age – both were on the other side of the 60 line, had very different experiences at area hospitals

Both had experienced significant medical procedures.

One, the female, was a patient at the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.

The other, male, was a patient at the St. Hospital in Hamilton.

Both had gone to their hospitals a day apart this week.

We are not releasing the names – that isn’t the important part of this story. It is about how people are treated and the integrity of the service being given at the two hospitals.


The Joseph Brant Hospital, recently underwent a major overhaul with the addition of a new wing that is clean, and a pleasant place to be if you have to be in a hospital. What needs work now is a change in the culture where the patient is the focus.

The female scheduled an appointment at Joseph Brant Hospital.

She was wearing a mask when she entered the front door.

She was met by a young man who asked the following questions.

– did I have an appointment or was I visiting a patient?
– He asked for my name and if I had travelled out of the country.
– He asked if I had fallen in the last 3 months.

He gave her the form he had completed and told her to give it to the nurse at the appointment.

She then went on her own to the elevators and up to her appointment.

She was not asked for the completed sheet. She asked the nurse at her appointment if she wanted the sheet and her answer was “oh yes”.

After my appointment I left the hospital

The male at St. Joseph’s in Hamilton was quite different.

St Joe in HAmilton

The complex of buildings that makes up St. Joseph’s in Hamilton is big, very big – easy to get confused. Patient service though was very good.

He was stopped as he entered the hospital by a young lady holding a clip board.

“Where do you want to go”, she asked.

The male said he was going to the urology unit for an appointment.

He was asked if he had travelled outside the province; asked if he had been in contact with people who were later advised that they had been infected in the last 14 days.

He was asked if he had a high temperature in the past three days.

He was asked if the face mask he was wearing had been washed before he put it on that morning.

The male said it was not clean that morning – but it was clean the afternoon of the day before.

The attendant said take the mask off and wear this and handed the male a new mask.

The male was asked for a telephone number he where he could be reached and then asked if he was comfortable giving the attendant an email address.

With that done the attendant put a green sticker on the shoulder of the shirt he was wearing and was told not take it off and to follow the attendant to the floor of the hospital the appointment was on.

He was told to pay attention to the path that was taken and, when leaving, to take that same path and leave by the hospital entrance he had used coming in.

When the male completed the appointment he returned to the main floor where the attendant approached him, took the green sticker off his shoulder and suggested he sanitize his hands and bid him a “good day” but not before advising the male that he should put on a washed mask in the morning of each day and to replace it with a clean one in the afternoon – and to wash his hands frequently.

Was one hospital “better” than the other?  That’s not the issue – how people are treated is a reflection of the culture of the institution.

Cultural change comes from the leadership.  There is some work to be done.

Related editorial content

What the Joseph Brant hospital does very well

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4 comments to Two hospitals – both excellent when it comes to the medicine practiced – one just does a better job than the other when it comes to how patients are

  • Perryb

    Two articles, appearing in local newspapers, provide an interesting contrast. One, based on two hearsay reports, implies a serious problem. Another, carefully researched based on a proper sample of real data, suggests a logical conclusion. Which paper is delivering effective journalism? Ooops, it’s the same paper. Hmmm

  • Danny Albers

    I spent 5 days admitted to Joseph Brant during the main part of the lockdown, also went in 3 times for various tests. As a day patient I found my experience all three times to be far more similar to the Hamilton model. When I was an inpatient, the level of carefulness demonstrated by everyone from lab technicians, to cleaners, to nurses and doctors was exemplary. Must be a slow news day if this is the story.

  • My experience at Joseph Brant- 3 times this summer as a patient, was the same as Dave Turner’s – just GREAT.

  • dave turner

    Citing these two instances as if 100% representative of the care and attention at either Hospital is to put it bluntly, ridiculous. However that is the inference being put forward in this piece. I am sure it would be easy to find examples of both good and bad experiences at each of these two hospitals and any other hospital for that matter. One instance does not make a trend nor does it show to be representative.

    I have personally been to Joseph Brant Hospital on a number of occasions; to the A&E, as an outpatient for surgery, and to visit a patient. in fact I have had reason to go to Joseph Brant Hospital twice during the COVID pandemic. On each occasion I experienced the same type of care and attention described in the article as provided at the Hamilton Hospital.

    To cast aspersions upon the hospital, it’s doctors, nurses, and other staff at Joseph Brant is to say the least unwarranted, hurtful, and in no way deserved. I would suggest an apology be made by the Gazette to all those at Joseph Brant Hospital for the uncalled-for inferences contained in this article.