Wait times improving at the Victoria Hospital

Jason Kerr/Daily Herald. Patients heading to the Victoria Hospital emergency department with non-life threatening injuries could face a few delays as staff deals with a backlog of visitors.

Initiatives adopted by the Victoria Hospital to improve patient wait times in the emergency room seem to be working, as wait times average lower than those in the rest of the province, data provided by the health region shows.

Following Finance Minister Kevin Doherty’s visit to Prince Albert last month, where he spoke to Mayor Dionne about the overcrowding concerns at the hospital, the Daily Herald inquired about the wait times at the Victoria Hospital.

The data provided shows wait times in the emergency department are lower than the average of all communities combined.

Additionally, Prince Albert has significantly lower wait times in terms of an initial physician assessment, time spent waiting to be admitted and time spend not admitted for less serious cases than either Regina or Saskatoon.

Where P.A. falls down is in the wait times for non-admitted patients with more serious cases, where the local hospital has wait times significantly higher than either Regina or Saskatoon.

While some categories showed spikes in November of 2016, in general, the data shows a downward trend in terms of wait times.

The hospital is also near provincial levels of patients who leave the ER without being seen, or who leave against medical advice.

“The primary reason people leave is they get tired of waiting,” said Tammy Gillis, nursing unit manager of the Victoria Hospital emergency department during her presentation Wednesday.

Recent changes, such as bringing in an additional doctor and an additional nurse during the busy evening hours have made a difference, she added.

“It has helped with our flow.”

For more on this story, please see the April 28 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.