The North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) is warning the community about the patient flow crisis currently impacting the Health Centre. Also known as a ‘bed crisis’, this is a situation where the Health Centre sees an increase of patients coming in through our Emergency Department (ED) and there are no available beds to admit them, despite using all of our current acute care space.
Tiz Silveri, Vice President Clinical and Chief Nursing Executive, says the Hospital has been effective in responding to this enormous increase in patient demand, however we are currently beyond our capacity to do so. “When the ED gets backed up, patients don’t move through, creating congestion. This means we aren’t able to perform the primary function of the ED—which is to diagnose, treat and if necessary, admit.”
A bed crisis impacts flow across the entire organization, meaning some patients may be moved or discharged; some may be placed in an unconventional bed; and some elective surgeries may be delayed or cancelled.
Hospitals across the province have all reported operating under very unusual and worrying surge conditions and NBRHC is no different.
Silveri points to a number of contributing factors to the current bed crisis, including the recent closure of the 66-bed Lady Isabelle Nursing home, which saw the Health Centre’s alternate level of care (ALC) numbers jump from 7.5% to 25%. “This closure, combined with ongoing pressures like patients not being able to access the care they need in the community; inability of some to afford retirement living; increase in patients with complex needs and the upcoming flu season, means the Health Centre has to look for ways to care for these additional patients.”
Silveri stresses that patients who require care always have access. “Anyone who requires emergency and acute care services will never be turned away. Patients are discharged when they are medically stable.”
She says during this time, the hospital appreciates the cooperation and patience from the community. “We encourage people to familiarize themselves with the healthcare options available for non-urgent care such as Telehealth Ontario or walk-in clinic availability. Doing this can save you from an unnecessary visit and wait in the Emergency Department.”
However, Silveri stressed, in the event of an emergency, please do not hesitate, and go straight to the Emergency Department.
Manager, Communications Department
North Bay Regional Health Centre
705-474-8600 ext. 3130