Better Emergency Room Services for Ontario Patients
Efforts continue to reduce emergency room wait times across Ontario
TORONTO, ON (April 21, 2011) – Access to Care at Cancer Care Ontario is taking the next step in reducing emergency room (ER) wait times across the province.
Launching in May, 91 hospitals across Ontario will see the expansion of the Emergency Room National Ambulatory Initiative (ERNI) which adds five new data elements specifically related to specialist consults to the 33 data elements currently collected.
ERNI was introduced in 2009 to help measure and report how long patients were spending in the ER. With the addition of the five new data elements under the ERNI Expansion 2011/12, clinicians will now be collecting 38 data elements related to the patient journey through the emergency room. This includes everything from ambulance offload time, to when patients are first seen by a physician and then eventually leave the emergency department. The more that is known about the flow of patients through the emergency room, the more the patient experience can be improved and wait times can be reduced.
“Over the past two years, we have already seen a significant improvement in ER wait times, says Dr. Howard Ovens, Director of the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, Provincial ER Clinical Lead and Toronto Central ER LHIN Lead. “By increasing the data collection in Ontario, we are going to gain an even more thorough understanding of where some of the challenges lie and how to overcome them.”
Participating hospitals across the province have assigned an ER Clinical Lead to their project teams to raise awareness of data quality in the collection of both the new and existing data points of information. They will assume the role of educating ER staff and championing the importance of high-quality data collection practices. The success of this patient-centred initiative depends heavily on effective clinical engagement and the change management processes that will ensure data is collected in a timely and accurate manner.
“ER staff are to be applauded for their efforts and commitment to data collection and data quality. They will help to ensure their hospital’s success in meeting ERNI Expansion requirements and reaching the goal of improving the patient experience,” said Lynn Guerriero, Director, Access to Care (ATC). “The availability of accurate and timely data is a prerequisite to improving our healthcare system.”
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) has a proven track record in driving change and quality improvement in Ontario’s cancer system. Access to Care is housed at CCO and is the service delivery agency for the ministry’s Wait Times Strategy and ER/Alternate Level of Care Information Strategy.
Ron MacInnes, Manager, Public Affairs, Cancer Care Ontario
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