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Increased patient volume at OSMH

12/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

(December 6, 2012 - Orillia, ON) –   Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is experiencing a higher than normal volume of patients, resulting in lengthier waits for patients in the emergency department seeking access to beds on the units. 


“We’re essentially in gridlock with our beds,” according to Dr. Don Atkinson, OSMH Chief of Staff and VP-Medical Affairs.  “Most of our medical and surgical floors are overbedded, which means they’ve already taken on more patients than their normal capacity.  Until we can free up more beds on those units, it becomes a challenge to move patients out of ER who require a bed.” 


At one point today, as many as 15 patients were declared admitted into the hospital by the physician but no beds were available on the units so they stayed on stretchers and were managed by the dedicated emergency department staff. 


Complicating the issue is the unusually high number of Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients currently in hospital.   ALC patients no longer require the acute care services that a hospital provides but remain in hospital because the type of care they require, such as long-term care or a return home with appropriate supports in place, simply isn’t available in the community.   


Today’s census indicated there are 57 ALC patients at OSMH, accounting for more than 25% of available beds.  


“I want to thank the community for their patience and understanding during this busy time,” said Elisabeth Riley, OSMH President and CEO.   “I also want to acknowledge our staff and physicians, many of whom are taking on additional shifts or working in different areas of the hospital to meet patient needs.” 


Riley said that families can also help by working with hospital staff, physicians and the CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) to assist in timely discharge of patients.   


“Keeping yourself and your family healthy is the first line of defence to staying out of hospital. Getting your flu shot is one way to do that,” said Riley.


Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) is located in Orillia, Ontario (just 114 kilometres north of Toronto) and serves more than 440,000 residents in North Simcoe Muskoka. OSMH provides a comprehensive range of programs and services, including medical, surgical and emergency care, dialysis, obstetrical and paediatric care, complex continuing care, mental health and rehabilitation services. For more information please visit our website at www.osmh.on.ca.




For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:


Terry Dyni, Director, Community Relations

T: 705-327-9179

C: 705-330-7027

E: tadyni@osmh.on.ca

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