Wait Times Improve as Staff Manage Flu Intake Patients: WRHA

Wait Times Improve as Staff Manage Flu Intake Patients: WRHA

Flu Shot
A nurse working for Vancouver Island Vaccine loads a syringe with flu vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal in Victoria Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody)

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority says patient wait times have improved in recent weeks, despite a spike in visits by people suffering from the flu.

The WRHA opened 70 over-capacity beds to handle the intake and another 68 beds, that would normally accommodate surgical patients, were temporarily repurposed.

The WRHA previously announced 97 non-urgent elective surgeries were postponed due to the flux. Of those, more than half have been rebooked.

“Changes related to consolidation allowed us to mobilize immediately to address the increased demands that influenza placed on emergency services and in-patient beds throughout the region,” said Lori Lamont, acting COO, vice president, nursing and health professions.

The median wait time for patients was 1.6 hours in emergency departments in December and the first half of January. Officials say that’s an improvement from two to 2.3 hours during the 2017 flu season.

“While flu season remains in full swing, we are pleased that the changes implemented through the first phase of clinical consolidation meant wait times remained stable over the past few weeks despite a significant increase in patient volume,” added Lamont.

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