Improving Patient Access and Flow
With the change of our society demographic profile our acute care facility faces, at times, challenges around overcapacity and long wait times. For many patients the Emergency Department is the place where they are first admitted to hospital and where both of these issues are most obvious and concerning. Patients without a personal doctor may have no other option but to go to the hospital emergency room for care. If you’re admitted to a ward for further acute care you may find over-crowding there also. Perhaps the patient in the bed next to you has completed the acute care phase of treatment and is waiting to be transferred to a different care setting. Every day your health care team works hard to assure your quality of care, regardless of these challenges.
The medical community’s term for the issue of wait times and over-crowding is Patient Access and Flow. This is a major issue for hospitals all over Canada. Here in Powell River significant attention and resources are being spent to find local solutions to the problem. Kim Markel, Manager of Acute Services, has recently been involved in a multi-site project that looked at the issues of patient access to the right care in the right location and developed multiple approaches to addressing the issue. The project was guided by her participation in a quality improvement training program provided by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement which the PR Hospital Foundation supported.
Solutions to the problem are complex and varied. One priority for Powell River is to increase the number of available home health care workers. Melie de Champlain, our hospital’s Director of the Coastal Community of Care, and the local campus of Vancouver Island University recently partnered to sponsor a special class for home health care workers. Fifteen people are enrolled and they will graduate and begin working in December 2019. This will mean more people at home will be provided with support to enable them to stay longer with their loved ones in the community.
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5000 Joyce Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 5R3
(604) 485-3211 Ext 4349.
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