By Nigel Murray. As you may be aware from recent reports in the media, our hospitals and community services are experiencing congestion right now. We have patients waiting in our emergency departments for hospital beds to become available for them and there are patients in hallways in some of our hospitals.
We know this is not our ideal way to care for patients – not for our teams who are working very hard to provide care and manage the issue, and not for our patients and their families. We all want the best care for our patients, their families and our staff. To our staff who are working and experiencing this congestion- we are extremely grateful to them for caring and for doing their very best.
Right now, all hands are on deck to manage the congestion at our hospitals.
We are working hard to identify solutions to our current congestion issues
Meetings are taking place throughout Fraser Health on a daily basis to problem solves across all our hospitals
We have opened temporary beds in hospitals and in the community to make room for patients
We are all working together, across all hospitals and community programs to help with congestion
We are working with our doctors to ensure patients are well enough to return home when they are discharged from the hospital.
Our goal is to deliver the right care at the right place at the right time. It’s Fraser Health’s goal – it’s my goal, it’s the goal of the executive and everyone who delivers care to our patients.
Over the years our patient volumes have increased. And the patient increases we see at certain times during the year have also increased – our busy winter season starts earlier and goes longer. The increases in patients we typically experience during spring break is also a growing challenge to manage.
The good news is that we are living longer and the population and diversity in our communities grows. The challenge is that more health care services are needed to support a growing, aging population. We are working to strengthen our focus on community care so people stay healthier and out of hospital – so hospital beds are there for people when they need them.
We have been working on several initiatives that have shown how we can support people at home and reduce the number of patients we see in our emergency departments. Some of these include:
Patients enrolled in the Home First for over one year experienced a 41% reduction in emergency department visits, a 56% reduction in acute care admissions and a 62% reduction in length of stay when admitted to the hospital.
The BreatheWell at Home program reduced client emergency department visits by 30% and admissions by 32% as of March 31, 2013.
The Psychosis Treatment Optimization Program (PTOP) has reduced hospital admissions by 67%.
With a long term vision we strive towards a sustainable health care system that will improve the conditions we and our patients are experiencing now.
If you have any questions or concerns about your care while you are in hospital, we encourage you to speak to with your health team or the manager in the area you are staying.
*Nigel Murray is the President and CEO of Fraser Health. This release was dated March 19, 2014.