Happy New Year! After spending some quality time with family and friends over the holidays, I’m ready to kick off another exciting year at Osler. I hope you had the opportunity to make some special memories with your loved ones this season, too.
It feels so strange to be typing “2017” but there will be great things happening in the coming year – and it roared in like a lion! We expect to see a higher than normal volume of patients during the holidays and this year was no exception – in fact – it was another record setting year.
In true Osler fashion, the busy festive season started with a Code Gridlock at Brampton Civic Hospital that was lifted just two days before Christmas. The pace hasn’t let up. In fact, there were so many visitors to our emergency departments, we have issued a number of Code Gridlocks at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General to help us manage the steady stream of patients. Our teams across the organization are mobilized and focused on patient admissions and timely discharges, and on working with our partners to help keep patients moving to where they needed to be in the hospital as quickly as possible.
According to Kiki Ferrari, Osler’s Interim Executive Vice President of Clinical Services, “Our teams are, and continue to be, nothing short of spectacular during this year’s surge and beyond. The past few holiday seasons have shown us just how vital it is to work together to manage high patient volumes, especially when we need to react to demands that seem to change hour to hour.”
A number of factors contributed to the increase in patient volumes, including a surge of flu activity in the community. Many hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area have seen a significant increase in patients coming to the ED with the flu as the season is starting to peak, and Osler is no different. With more than half of flu season left to go it’s even more important to get vaccinated.
By the official end of the two week surge period, we had an unprecedented 25,734 patient visits. When we break it down, this adds up to:
- 10,146 patients in our emergency departments
- 2,216 patients admitted for inpatient care
- 13,432 outpatient and day surgery visits
That averages out to our teams providing care for approximately 1,719 patients per day. These numbers tell an incredible story that begins and ends with the tremendous teamwork and dedication of Osler’s teams throughout this challenging time. While the ED is often the first place we feel the surge, impacts are felt throughout the hospital. Our inpatient, diagnostic imaging, laboratory and support service teams – in collaboration with many others – also worked tirelessly to provide an exceptional experience for patients during this busy time.
High patient volumes are nothing new for us but the way everyone – including staff, physicians and volunteers – rallied in response should be acknowledged and commended.
Thank you for going beyond to provide patient-inspired care without boundaries.