In response to Mr Morrison, from Riverside Health Care

Riverside Health Care is dedicated to providing quality care, meaning that we perpetually look to improve the patient experience in terms of enhancing service quality and reducing wait time delays. However, we recognize that for many patients the wait for treatment at any one of our Emergency Departments(ED) may create a level of frustration.

In 2021-2022 the average ED wait time in Fort Frances prior to initial physician assessment is 2.6 hours; this is in comparison to the provincial average of 3.6 hours. In the last two years Riverside remained below provincial average in terms of wait times.

In many cases a patient may be required wait beyond the average wait time – this is determined by the number of patients simultaneously seeking care and the level of care each requires. Timely access to care in the ED is impacted by the nature of visits, including serious accidents and patients arriving with life or limb threatening injuries or illnesses. For this reason, EDs cannot work on a first-come, first-served basis. It is important to remember that critical patients will be seen first, whether they arrive on their own, via ambulance or have been asked to return for ongoing care.

All patients visiting the ED are assessed using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). This tool, used nationally and internationally, enables staff in the emergency department to appropriately prioritize patient care. However, every effort is made by our dedicated team to serve our patients as rapidly as possible.

Recently, wait times have increased, returning to pre-pandemic levels, and we are asking for the public’s patience and assistance. It is important that emergency services are used appropriately by patients who require emergent care. Patients that do not require emergent care should seek appropriate and timely services through alternative community health service providers before presenting to the ED. These community providers include primary care (clinic), nurse practitioner, family doctor, walk-in clinic or Telehealth Ontario which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-797-0000. If you are acutely ill or injured, are having trouble breathing, chest pain or experiencing extreme weakness, please call 911 so that treatment can begin before arriving to the ED.

Sincerely,
Riverside Healthcare

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