As life’s pace picks up considerably as the holidays approach, so does the activity in our two emergency departments (ED). At Osler, we are already beginning to prepare for the expected record number of people who will come through our doors this holiday season.
Osler’s population is constantly growing and changing, which certainly contributes to increased ED activity. Evidence of these changes can be seen in the number of babies that are born each day in Osler hospitals and also in the population of seniors that come through our EDs and outpatient clinics.
Despite the increase in growth and number of visits to our EDs, our length of stay for less acute needs remains better than the provincial target. Nine out of 10 patients with minor conditions received treatment within the provincial target of four hours or less.
When people come into the ED, we understand that they want to be in and out as quickly as possible. Our staff, physicians and volunteers are committed to making sure we try our best to do this, while providing safe and compassionate care. They also continue to look for ways to refine and fine-tune how we deliver care in our EDs so that we can improve our services moving forward.
In September, Osler added more emergency department physician hours to help respond to the need for care and to more effectively manage length of stay. In addition, Osler is implementing an education strategy to help people better understand their options when seeking health care in the community.
Information is now available on our website about how to prepare for the holidays when it comes to your health. This includes some tips to help safeguard your care while at home, and what to expect in the ED if you need to visit. The ED video that we created earlier this year is also a great resource to help familiarize people with the ED so they understand what happens there on a typical day.
We do expect to be busy in our EDs in the time ahead but we are committed to providing our patients with safe and timely care while they are with us. Please continue to visit our website for the latest information about our ED initiatives and ongoing service improvement efforts across our organization.
I’ll be back blogging in the New Year. Until then, best wishes for a very happy and healthy holiday season.