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WNGH persevering despite increase in emergency department patients

With news of emergency departments shutting down temporarily in various communities across Ontario, the West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) says here at home, we’re doing ok.

That’s according to Cynthia Desormiers, WNGH’s CEO. She says she and her team have been following emergency department (ED) closures across the province. She says a few years ago there were a few close calls in regards to physician staffing in the hospital’s ED, but since then, they have joined a program with Health Force Ontario (HFO) to have locum physicians fill in some gaps.

“These locum physicians are highly qualified and often come from larger settings with lots of experience,” says Desormiers. “This provided relief for our full-time ED physicians.”

She says they’re also very fortunate as physicians from North Bay have also signed up to work at the hospital, anywhere from four to eight shifts a month, and have been doing so for the past several years.

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“This model of local physicians, North Bay physicians and HFO locum physicians has been very helpful, [though] we have had some close calls over the past couple of years working to ensure our ED is open 24/7,” she says.

Desormiers adds our ED’s wait times are “generally good and meet the provincial targets”.
She says they’re also looking to set up a wait time notification system “to keep our patients in the waiting room updated on how patient flow is going.”

She finishes by saying they’re seeing patients being admitted in the ED once again as they struggle to get patients into LTC beds.

“Which causes a rippling effect with our patient flow in our acute care unit,” she says. ”It all comes down to having the patient in the right bed and the right time to receive the best care possible.”

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