Thunder Bay Hospital in Gridlock

TBRHSC - Emergency Ward
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre - TBRHSC - Aerial View Northeast
Aerial View of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Gridlock is in Effect

THUNDER BAY – News – The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is in Gridlock.

If you have been to the Health Sciences Centre lately you may have heard the overhead announcement “Gridlock is in effect. Please activate your departmental protocols.”

Many people then ask: “What is Gridlock?” Gridlock is a condition at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre when there are more patients waiting for admission than there are beds available. However, not all patients in a bed still require Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre services. Delays in discharges can occur for a variety of reasons including waiting for:

  • Formal discharge
  • Physician consultation
  • Tests and/or results
  • Interprofessional team assessment
  • A bed in another acute care facility, long-term care facility, rehabilitation facility, or supportive housing
  • Transportation home or to another facility
  • Conference with family to plan discharge
  • Assessment for community services

The issue is being addressed.  TBRHSC Board Chair Susan Fraser stated to the Board, “The average number of ALC patients at TBRHSC over the past six months is 57.2, compared to 48.9 during the same period last year. This growth contributes to overcapacity challenges and Gridlock. In an effort to ease pressure at TBRHSC, ten temporary beds were opened on September 19 (2013)”.

The issue of ‘Gridlock’ has been rather common at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. It is likely to continue, the TBRHSC does not have a great deal of land that could be utilized for expansion and new buildings. Part of the issue is environmental. The Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre never completed a sound mitigation assessment when it was built.

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been installing sound buffering barriers and other techniques to reduce the sound impact the facility has on the River Terrace neighbourhood.

The issue likely will require action by the Ontario provincial government.

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