Visits to the emergency room at both campuses of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance are down by 9%, but the people visiting the ER are more sick than before.
Officials say access to care outside of the emergency room is improving and responsible for the decrease in visits.
“The principal we’re working towards is making sure that we’ve got the right patient in the right place at the right time receiving the right care the first time at the right cost,” says CKHA Vice President Sarah Padfield. “The patients that are coming are sicker and they’re certainly a bit more complex, sometimes that causes increases in wait times because it takes longer to run diagnostics and sort patients out.”
The average patient at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance will wait over four and a half hours before seeing a doctor or nurse in the emergency room.