Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital continues to experience extremely high volumes of visits in the Emergency Department (ED). Every day, our team sees approximately 280 patients in the ED – and more than 300 on a really busy day. This holiday season, we saw 400 patients on one day in the Emergency Department. At our Urgent Care Centre, we also saw an increase in visits peaking at 90 patients on New Year’s Day, about 20-30 more than usual.
Measures to Improve Access to Care
While we will have the benefit of more beds and expanded programs and services when the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital opens in 2020, we are doing all we can to address the wide-spread surge felt across the hospital and in our surrounding communities. The ED team has done an exceptional amount of work to improve wait times to see a physician including:
- Developing an internal escalation system that identifies spikes in patient volumes for doctors and nurses so that they can relocate to those areas to treat patients who are waiting to be seen,
- Re-developing the Ambulatory Care Zone – which sees three quarters of our daily emergency volumes – by adding more physical space and by standardizing patient care routines for doctors and nurses,
- Relocating and expanding the Minor Treatment Zone (or fast track area for patients with less serious conditions) to increase efficiency and patient privacy with a new enclosed waiting area, and
- Continuing to operationalize the Urgent Care Centre in Vaughan to treat non-acute illnesses or injuries.
This season has been particularly challenging across the health care system due to influenza (flu) in the community. We encourage you to get the flu shot, not go to work or visit the hospital if sick, and remember to wash your hands and cover your mouth when coughing to avoid spreading illness.