THUNDER BAY – With funding from the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and Superior North Emergency Medical Services (SNEMS) have created a Registered Nurse (RN) position with the TBRHSC Emergency Department (ED) to receive EMS patients during hours of particular high volume.
This Nurse frees up paramedics so that they may respond to the next call. This funding provides for a nurse eight hours a day, seven days per week, until March 31, 2011. The strategy improves service by easing delays in emergency care and improving access.
Recently, increased pressure on the ED has contributed to increased wait times for paramedics to transfer care of non-urgent patients to ED Nurses. Paramedics are left caring for and monitoring low-acuity patients in the hallway at the ED. This means that patients must wait longer, and that paramedics and ambulances are tied up with these patients on “off-load delays”, thus affecting EMS response to 911 calls.
Norm Gale, Chief of EMS, shares, “There is ever increasing pressure on SNEMS and the TBRHSC ED due to increasing patient demand, and this initiative will help us respond better to people in need. It is a great example of inter-agency collaboration to improve access and care.”
Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, V.P. & CNE, TBRHSC, added, “We are pleased to work in partnership with EMS to create a system that improves access to Emergency care and ensures timely responses to the most critical of patient care emergencies.”