By Kevin Woodhouse
Patients of the Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency services have had their stay time go down five hours in the last year, making the average time spent for an ER patient at the hospital to be 24 hours, West Island CSSS Director General and CEO Benoît Morin told reporters at a roundtable meeting held last week at the LGH.
Morin was giving an update since his arrival as new boss for the hospital and health and social network for the West Island about a year ago. Morin spoke about creating an action plan for the hospital that includes improving infrastructure, purchasing new equipment as well as augmenting services for the senior citizens.
The West Island CSSS General Director provided statistical information on the West Island’s aging population. Currently, out of a population of 225,000 who use the health network, 33,000 are over the age of 65 with that number set to rise by 52% in 2026 within a 130 square kilometre territory.
In an effort to further reduce waiting times in the ER, Morin told reporters that a new triage system, based on a five point scale ranging from a common cold to acute care needs, “we will be able to manage the flow better as with 45,000 ER visitors every year, we are one of the most busiest ERs in the province,” said Morin.
Last March, a very successful open house had more than 700 candidates vie for work in the health network and 40 jobs were filled, among them were 17 new nurses for the Lakeshore’s chronically overcrowded ER with about 15% of all users coming from off island for services.
Morin also wants to reach out more to community organizations because “as a large employer for the West Island, we need to re-connect with the Chamber of Commerce and other municipalities because we will have a large challenge coming with our seniors and we will have to be able to provide more services at less cost.”
Regarding infrastructure improvements, the LGH has been renovating its ambulatory care centre as well as redoing the hospital’s front entrance to “become more energy efficient as well as ease of use for our patients,” said Morin.
“We have been reviewing all departments in the hospital to maximize efficiency to see what works and what doesn’t,” said Morin. “We will see what works and what needs improvement.”
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