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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hanover Hospital Seeing Long Mental Health Visits

Hanover | by Robyn Garvey  

Mental Health Patients have an average stay that's 17 hours compared to 4.5 for other illnesses.

Hanover’s ER is a bustling one. The small hospital boasts the second busiest ER in all of Grey Bruce. (Owen Sound busiest ER)

With almost 17 thousand patients coming through the ER doors a year, President Dana Howes says Hanover’s ER is certainly a busy one.

A review of the ER data however has identified some interesting trends.

While non emergent ER visits are on the decline, ER visits by patients who are quite ill is up 32 percent.

Another interesting fact revealed the huge gap between length of stay between for patients seeking mental health assistance in the ER and those seeking non mental health treatment.

The average length of stay for an ER non mental health visit is 4.5 hours, compared to the average 17 hour length of stay for a mental health patient.

The massive difference between length of stay is being blamed on a lack resources and available beds within the region for patients in need of mental health support.

Howes says addressing this disparity has been an ongoing challenge and goal of the Hanover and District Hospital for a number of years.

As such the Hospital has been working with other health care and community partners as well as the LHIN in an effort to streamline services to provide patients with the resources they need in a more timely manner.

Howes says lack of mental health and addictions resources is a regional issue and as such the Hospital is trying to tackle it a regional level by taking a cross-sectorial approach.

This includes working with other hospitals, mental health agencies, the community sector, police and EMS.

Howes calls the situation concerning saying “We need to better, and we can do better.”

It is her hope that by working collaboratively, health care and related fields across the region will be able to reduce the ER length of stay time for mental health patients.

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