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Patient flow

St. Mary’s recognized for ER improvement

KITCHENER, Ont. – Ontario is recognizing a Kitchener hospital for significantly reducing emergency room wait times and improving patient care in its emergency room (ER).

St. Mary’s General Hospital has reduced wait times for admitted patients by 43 percent since April 2008. The hospital achieved this success by creating a real-time picture of patient flow in the ER and streamlining existing processes. Also, highly-skilled nurse practitioners now assess and treat patients with less-serious conditions more quickly.

“I am very pleased that our team of staff and physicians has been recognized for their tremendous effort to ensure improved patient flow through our Emergency Department and reduced wait times for patients and families in the community,” said Moira Taylor (pictured), President of St. Mary’s General Hospital.

As part of its Pay-for-Results program, the McGuinty government is providing the hospital with one-time performance funding of $530,000 for sharing best practices with other hospitals to help them improve emergency room performance.

Reducing ER wait times is part of the government’s Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

• St. Mary’s Hospital will use the funding to teach other hospitals about its success and lessons learned and to take steps to further improve ER wait times.

• In April 2008, patients with complex conditions spent 10.9 hours in the emergency room for treatment. Today they spend on average 8.4 hours.

• In April 2008, patients with uncomplicated conditions spent 5.5 hours in the emergency room for treatment. Today they spend on average 4.6 hours.

As part of its plan to improve ER performance, and consistent with its commitment to transparency and accountability, the government of Ontario has set provincial targets for time spent in the ER and is moving forward with public reporting of the time Ontarians spend in the ER.

This initiative is a key component of the government’s comprehensive ER Strategy announced in May of 2008 and is fundamental to improving performance and patient satisfaction.

A summary of Ontario’s ER performance can be found at:

Posted June 3, 2010