Niagara Health is working on a number of initiatives to enhance the safe transfer of care and improve the time patients wait after arriving in our Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Centres by ambulance.
“These strategies will not only improve the care experience for those patients, but will also allow Niagara Emergency Medical Services personnel to spend less time waiting with patients and more time in the community responding to emergency calls,” said Derek McNally, Niagara Health Executive Vice-President, Clinical Services, and Chief Nursing Executive.
One of these initiatives will see patients who are well enough transferred to a chair to await treatment rather than wait on an ambulance stretcher.
At all times, our teams at Niagara Health work closely with the teams at Niagara EMS, as well as with other partners in the community, to proactively address concerns as they arise.
Every day, we have approximately 70 patients who are admitted to the hospital from our Emergency Departments waiting for beds in our inpatient units. Recent funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for additional beds has helped ease the demand for beds, but we are still facing bed pressures.
Since activity in other areas of the hospital can significantly influence wait times in the Emergency Department, Niagara Health also has a number of initiatives underway in inpatient areas to improve patient flow such as working closely with our colleagues at the LHIN Home and Community Care as well as patients and families on discharge planning.
There is a misconception with some members of the public that patients who arrive by ambulance will be seen quicker than those who come by other means of transportation. Please note that patients are treated according to their level of illness or injury regardless of whether they drive in, walk in or come by ambulance.
It is also important to choose the right healthcare options in the community if you are not in an emergency situation. Tips to help you choose the right care option can be found at www.niagarahealth.on.ca/options.