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CEO Column

I often speak about the critical need to build a larger, modern emergency department at Stevenson, to enable our staff and physicians to better meet the needs of this growing community. We know that the current facility, built to accommodate 7,000 emergency visits annually, is inadequate for a hospital that currently treats over 30,000 ER patients each year.

As we wait for approval from the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to proceed with our expansion plan, I want to talk about the amazing results we have achieved, despite the physical limitations of our existing building.

Stevenson will receive $871,000 from the province’s Pay for Results program this year, as a reward for being one of the best hospitals of 74 in the province for emergency department wait times. In February, Stevenson reached number 4 and we are consistently in the top 15.

Our patients ER arrival to in-patient bed time has seen the biggest improvement moving from 29 hours in 2011 to less than 18 hours today. Most patients are admitted to their in-patient bed within 9 hours - a 22 per cent improvement over the baseline we started from in 2010.

Our length of stay for non-admitted complex patients (including individuals we transfer to larger hospitals after stabilization) is 6.2 hours - amazing when you consider that we cannot keep our critically ill patients here and rely on other facilities voluntarily agreeing to accept them. Our total length of stay for minor non-admitted patients is 3.8 hours.

There are many reasons for the tremendous success:

  • P4R money received last year allowed us to add evening clerical coverage Monday to Friday. This addition allows a nurse to care for patients instead of completing computer entries of diagnostic tests or answering the phone.
  • A float nurse works evenings Monday to Friday to focus on getting admitted patients into the in-patient unit as soon as the bed is available.
  • A discharge planner works with the team of staff, physicians, families, patients, nursing homes, retirement homes and community supports to ensure patients are discharged to a safe environment as soon as they no longer require hospital care – freeing in-patient beds and ensuring we rarely have an admitted patient in ER waiting for a bed; leaving the ER bed available for the next ER patient.

Being recognized as the number one hospital for ER wait times in our LHIN and a top performer in the province is certainly a proud and tremendous accomplishment for our dedicated and highly trained staff, physicians and volunteers.

We are truly doing the best that we can with the facility we have. An expansion and modernization, as detailed in a proposal presented to the Central LHIN, is needed to ensure further improvements to our service. To learn more or add your support to our plan, visit our website www.stevensonhospital.ca or call the Expansion Hotline at 705-435-6281, ext. 1701.

Annette Jones, President and CEO