STEGH boasts best ER wait times in On­tario

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - LOCAL NEWS - LAURA BROADLEY [email protected]­

For peo­ple us­ing the emer­gency de­part­ment at St. Thomas El­gin Gen­eral Hospi­tal, there’s some good news — you prob­a­bly won’t spend much time there com­pared with other hos­pi­tals.

The av­er­age time spent in the emer­gency de­part­ment for ad­mit­ted pa­tients was 7.2 hours — a num­ber be­low that of ev­ery other hospi­tal in the South West Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work (LHIN), ac­cord­ing to data re­leased re­cently by the Cana­dian In­sti­tute for Health In­for­ma­tion (CIHI) based on the 2017-2018 fis­cal year.

The av­er­age wait time in emer­gency de­part­ments for the Southest LHIN was 22.7 hours while the av­er­age wait time in On­tario was 32.8 hours.

The data also re­veals STEGH has the short­est wait time to be ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal among medium-sized hos­pi­tals in the prov­ince, which had an av­er­age of 34.9 hours.

Ni­cholas Gnidziejko, CIHI’s man­ager of clin­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tive data­bases op­er­a­tions, said emer­gency de­part­ment wait times are cal­cu­lated by look­ing at the time in­ter­val be­tween when pa­tients are triaged or reg­is­tered and when they leave the emer­gency de­part­ment and are ad­mit­ted into hospi­tal.

“(STEGH) def­i­nitely (has) some of the short­est times across the prov­ince,” Gnidziejko said.

Ninety per cent of pa­tients spent less than the av­er­age wait time in the emer­gency de­part­ment at STEGH, Gnidziejko noted.

There were close to 52,000 emer­gency de­part­ment vis­its at the hospi­tal in 2017-2018, a num­ber that con­tin­ues to rise year over year. But, this isn’t the first time the St. Thomas hospi­tal has been able to brag about it — they’ve been do­ing this since 2011.

“Al­though ev­ery hospi­tal is dif­fer­ent, I think we all share the com­mon pres­sure and that’s the growth in the emer­gency de­part­ment is out­pac­ing a lot of other growth in fund­ing,” said Karen Davies, STEGH’s vice-pres­i­dent and chief nurs­ing ex­ec­u­tive.

Davies said part of what sets STEGH apart is hav­ing ev­ery­one en­gaged in the work and look­ing through the per­spec­tive of the pa­tient and “al­ways look­ing to im­prove.”

“There’s a lot of mov­ing parts to what we do to make sure that our (emer­gency) vol­umes are man­age­able and they’re man­aged within those time­frames,” Davies said.

STEGH emer­gency de­part­ment’s new lo­ca­tion within the hospi­tal’s ex­pan­sion opened ear­lier this year.

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