This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Naveed Mohammad, VP, Medical Affairs
We expect it every year during the holiday season – a 10 per cent surge in patient activity across all our hospital sites. Last year, Osler had an exceptionally busy holiday season with more than 9,400 patient visits to our emergency departments (ED), over 1,300 patient admissions and 350 confirmed flu cases in just two weeks.
To help us manage these higher than normal patient volumes during this very busy time of year, we’re once again working with our health care partners across the region to provide more opportunities for care in the community and bringing in extra staff to ensure that our patients and families are receiving timely, patient-inspired care. We’re also preparing surge areas at both sites to meet the demand for services.
We’ve done our part, but how can patients prepare for the holiday season? It’s simple:
Once again, we’ll be posting important tips and information on Osler’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed to help educate patients about their health care options to receive the right care, in the right place this holiday season.
Osler is also ready to do its part in welcoming some of the 10,000 refugees from Syria. All refugees will undergo extensive screening before leaving Syria and will receive further medical examinations when arrive in Canada so we don’t expect to see many come to us for care. However, we will open our doors and beds to care for those few who may be triaged from the airport. Our extensive planning for the holiday season is in place and we’re prepared for any increased demand for clinical services.
In the spirit of helping others, we’re proud to announce a new ED Patient Experience Program that’s designed to improve comfort and enhance communication for patients and families waiting for care. Members of the patient experience team will be talking to patients and families in our EDs about how we can help make their experience a positive one by:
- Providing updates on wait times
- Alerting the clinical team if a patient begins to feel worse
- Enhancing comfort with a pillow, blanket or other resources
- Providing activities for children such as colouring sheets or small toys
We have no doubt that Osler staff, physicians and volunteers will continue to do a tremendous job of providing high-quality health care to all patients and their families during this busy time. Spending the holidays supporting the health care needs of the community is a true testament to the exceptional people that make Osler such an incredible place. Thank you in advance for your dedication!