There is an alternative, according to a study released late last year by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation. In "Seasonal Patterns of Winnipeg Hospital Use," lead author Verena Menec and her colleagues review the factors that lead to overcrowding during flu season and offer ideas for averting the problem.
Noting that the patient-in-the-hallway problem predates the bed
closures of the 1990s, so that simply adding more beds is clearly
not a solution, the authors make several suggestions:
- Reduce the amount of surgery done in the peak flu periods, to
keep beds available for medical patients when required. Do more
surgery during the Christmas and summer holidays.
- Launch a campaign to increase vaccination for flu, particularly
among the elderly; pneumococcal vaccination might be considered as
- Make it possible to discharge patients to nursing homes and
homecare on weekends by having staff both in the hospital and in
the community to do the transfers seven days a week.
- Assess patients who have been in hospital more than eight days rigorously; there is good evidence to show many of them don't need an acute-care bed.
Full copies of the report are available on the Web at www.umanitoba.ca/centres/mchpe/reports.htm or by calling the centre at (204) 789-3805.
Relevant Research is prepared by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. For more information please contact the Foundation at: email@example.com.
Be the first to comment on this!
Personal Subscriber? Sign In
Note: Please enter a display name. Your email address will not be publically displayed