MRI wait times better than Ontario average
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff Cornwall Community Hospital ( CCH) has, by far, the shortest wait times in the province for patients seeking magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services, according to a report released earlier this year.
A study issued by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) states that nine out of 10 CCH patients have their MRI procedures completed within 18 days of making their appointments – a wait time 64 days less than the provincial average of 82 days.
CCH patients can also anticipate having their computerized tomography ( CT or CAT) scans administered four days sooner than the provincial average of 33 days.
Jennifer Barkley, CCH director of diagnostic services, was impressed with her hospital’s rankings in both categories.
However, she emphasized the numbers mean more to the facility’s patients than to its staff.
“Having to book any hospital procedure can be a nervous time in someone’s life,” she said.
“Being able to perform the scans locally and as soon as possible can alleviate some of that stress as the patient knows their results will be returned earlier and they can progress with their plan
Between April 2013 and November 2014, the CCH’s Diagnostic Centre of Excellence performed over 5,000 MRI scans, with a mean distribution of 280 per month.
The hospital added that the facility’s emergency department wait times “for complex conditions, which are measured by when the patient is registered to the point when they are discharged, continue to be lower than the average set by Ontario hospitals.”
Infection rates “remain among the lowest in the region,” as well.
The CCH, which came into existence in January, 2004 with the merger of the former Cornwall General and Hotel Dieu hospitals, serves a population of over 110,000 residents from Cornwall, Akwesasne and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
It has an annual operating budget of over $100 million.
10 per cent
Given the hospital’s proximity to South Glengarry, approximately 700 township residents are in-patients there each year.
And South Glengarrians account for roughly 10 per cent of the hospital’s approximately 50,000 annual emergency room visits.
South Glengarry township contributed a total of $379,500 – amassed over the course of almost a decade’s worth of budget reserve allocations – towards the almost-$120 million Cornwall Community Hospital Capital Redevelopment Project that began in May 2009 and was completed in the fall of 2014.
That initiative included a 95,000-square foot expansion that houses five state-of-the-art operating rooms, and emergency and diagnosticimaging departments, as well as 78,000 square feet of renovations.
5,000 scans performed