Emergency Patients Experience High Volumes of Innovative, Compassionate Care

There were a staggering 299,687 patient visits to Osler’s Emergency Departments (EDs) and Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in 2018-19 – a figure that ranks us as one of the busiest in the country. 

But this isn’t a story about our volumes. It’s a story of teamwork, innovation and extraordinary compassion and how each of these things led to improved patient experiences in our EDs in 2018-19. These same tenets are woven throughout our new 2019-2024 Strategic Plan and will continue to guide the care we provide. 

One of the key metrics in any ED is the time it takes for a patient to be seen by a physician. Five years ago, Brampton Civic was 58th in the province for Physician Initial Assessment (PIA) time. Today, it’s sitting at 12th – the biggest improvement of any ED in Ontario between 2014-2018.

What’s driving this rise? 

Teamwork tops the list. “It truly is a team effort,” said Dr. Prashant Phalpher, Emergency Physician and former Brampton Civic ED Site Chief. “We have an incredible, multi-disciplinary team that works together to provide timely, safe and high-quality care to our patients.”

Together the team implemented new processes and initiatives to help improve wait times and patient flow in the ED including increasing the number of physician hours by 25 per cent, launching an innovative new patient-centered scheduling system that uses algorithms to trigger real-time responses to fluctuations in volumes, and redesigning ambulatory, rapid assessment and mental health zones in the ED. 

Congratulations are also in order for the ED team at Etobicoke General whose ongoing efforts earned them a place as the province’s top performer for PIA time once again in 2018-19. Like their colleagues at Brampton Civic and Peel Memorial, they’re not just leaders in providing timely, safe care, but also for their commitment to delivering care with compassion.    

Case in point – The Clothing Closet. Started in 2018-19 by Melissa Petriglia, an Etobicoke General ED Crisis Intervention Worker, and strongly supported by the hospital’s Paladin Security team, this initiative puts clothing in the hands of patients in need. Clothing is donated by staff, their friends and family. 

“When discharged from the Emergency Department, some patients need a new piece of clothing -- a pair of socks or a warm coat – for a number of different reasons and we’re able to supply them with that,” said Petriglia in February.  “We have a number of different items for men, women and children and we are so happy to see it all come together.”

© 2019 William Osler Health System

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