Transitional beds open in Barrie; long wait times still plaguing Orillia hospital
Published Tuesday, December 5, 2017 5:15PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 5, 2017 6:47PM EST
As more hospital beds open in Barrie, Orillia’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital took to social media to tell people to find alternate health care options.
The message posted to Twitter on Monday warned people about an increase in patient volume and wait times in the emergency department.
We are experiencing increased patient volume in OSMH Emergency Department. Wait times may be longer than expected. For non-urgent care, consider alternate health care options, and don't forget to get your flu shot!— OSMH (@OSMH_News) December 4, 2017
Hospital officials describe it as a gridlock situation. Alternative level care patients aren’t being discharged to next level care, which means beds aren’t being freed up.
"We're starting to see that bottleneck in the emergency. The longer we keep admitted patients, we're not able to see the true emergency patients that are coming in," says Kari Simpson-Adams, chief nursing executive at the hospital.
Over the weekend, the hospital had more than 20 patients it couldn’t move into rooms in a timely fashion, and it could get worse once flu season arrives.
"They're sitting on stretchers in hallways in the emergency department.”
In October, the province announced $140 million to open more across Ontario. Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital received enough money to open 12 beds.
"We have opened some of those beds as well and when the need is there we do open more beds."
Officials at Soldiers’ say they still need more beds and more transitional beds in the community to ultimately alleviate the issue.
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre has used the money they received to open 36 transitional care beds. RVH has been operating at a 110 per cent occupancy rate consistently.
"By creating additional capacity in the inpatient side, we're able to move patients through the emerg and into their bed," says Janice Skot, president and CEO of RVH.
The hospital has brought in 50 more staff to man the unit.