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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Surge Of Patients At Local Hospitals

Regional | by Robyn Garvey  

Influenza is partly to blame for the surge of in patients, but it's not the only reason.

Hospitals across Grey and Bruce region have been experiencing a surge of in-patients.

This phenomenon has been happening across the region and beyond this month.

This markedly increased volume of admitted patients is challenging hospitals across the region and beyond with above normal operating capacity.

Because of this the South West LHIN (Local Integrated Health Network) has been closely monitoring the situation through a daily bed census reporting initiative.

Under the Surge Initiative, hospitals must provide updates on daily bed census and projected bed issues to the LHIN’s Surge Coordinator my mid morning each day.

If the Surge Coordinator identifies an issue, a phone call with all hospitals in the LHIN is triggered and clinical executives work together to determine a solution to alleviate bed pressures.

Hanover Hospital Vice President of Patient Care Dana Howes says the Surge Initiative has been very helpful for hospitals across Grey and Bruce.

She says locally, Hanover has been able to assist both London Health Science Center and Grey Bruce Health Services in taking patients that were not “Hanover Patients’ in an effort to create bed availability in the tertiary centers.

Likewise, when Hanover’s beds have reached capacity, Howes says other hospitals in the region have opened their beds to Hanover patients.

The month of January has been so busy, that Howes says Hanover Hospital has even had to open ‘new beds’ at times to meet the increased capacity.

While influenza is partly to blame for the in-surge of in patients, Howes says it is not the only reason.

She says there have been a myriad of health issues that have resulted in the surge of in-patients including an increase in the number of acute, medical and surgical cases that have required hospitalization.

And it is not just in-patients that is causing a strain on the system, she says Emergency Department visits are also on the rise. (Hanover)

Howes says historically, January has always been a tough month for hospitals, it is her hope that this surge of in-patients and ER visits will soon level out.

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