Hospital missing care targets

Only 39 per cent of patients at the Red Deer hospital emergency department waiting for admission got an acute care bed within eight hours of coming to emergency between April and September.

Only 39 per cent of patients at the Red Deer hospital emergency department waiting for admission got an acute care bed within eight hours of coming to emergency between April and September.

The target for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is to admit 75 per cent of those patients within eight hours by March 2013, the end of the fiscal year.

For the most part, patients waited in emergency beds.

The hospital did much better when it came to treating and discharging emergency patients.

Seventy per cent of patients were discharged within four hours and the target is 80 per cent.

The data on emergency room care was released last week in Alberta Health Services’ latest performance report.

Dr. Evan Lundall, Central Zone medical director for AHS in Red Deer, said summer does pose special challenges with its increase in trauma patients and less hospital staff due to vacation time.

But Red Deer did open four new intensive care unit beds recently to help move patients through the hospital system, he said.

“That’s going to be a tremendous help and part of the solution,” Lundall said on Monday.

AHS is continuing to work on increasing the number of continuing care beds to open up more acute care beds, and moving patients to hospitals in their home communities when appropriate, he said.

In September, 47 people in the Central Zone were waiting in acute or sub-acute beds for continuing care beds. The target is 48.

A total of 120 people were waiting in the community for continuing care beds. The target is 105.

Lundall said a lot has been going on in the background and work to improve admission and discharge systems will continue.

“We need all the pieces of the puzzle to come together.”

Wait times for surgery is considered on target in Red Deer for hip and knee replacement surgeries and cataract surgery.

“The elements and ingredients for good measures in this regard have fallen into place a lot more easily than emergency department wait times,” Lundall said.

Ninety per cent of people waited less than 22.3 weeks for hip replacement surgery so the target of 22 weeks was almost met.

Ninety per cent of people waited less than 24.6 weeks for knee replacement surgery. The target is 28 weeks.

Ninety per cent of people waited less than 20 weeks for cataract surgery. The target is 25 weeks.

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