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GRH looking to cut into patient volume in ER

Grand River Hospital says their emergency department has seen about 200 patients a day on average since mid-December
Grand River Hospital 2
Grand River Hospital in Kitchener. Blair Adams/KitchenerToday

An increase in demand continue to plague emergency departments across the province, and Grand River Hospital is no different.

But with increased volume in their ER, GRH is being proactive in trying to cut down some of the numbers they've been seeing as of late.

Since mid-December, hospital officials say they've had around 200 patients per day on average.  That is about 17 times more than what GRH averages between the months of April and October.

For a one-day snapshot, they say New Year's Day 2020 saw 233 patient visits, which is just two patients shy of their one-day record for the last five years.

"We are seeing more patients coming to our emergency department (ED) with cold and flu-like symptoms, injuries caused by slips and falls due to winter weather, and individuals who have chronic illnesses with symptoms that are feeling worse than usual," GRH says in a statement.

"At the same time, we are still seeing emergency cases and are often operating with more patients than beds."

Now, it's not all flu-related illnesses, despite it being flu season.

Region of Waterloo Public Health's influenza numbers seem to be on par with previous years.  So far locally, there have been 93 reported cases of influenza this season.

GRH is doubling down on their tips to help you avoid the flu, and at the same time, that dreaded long stay in the waiting room:

  • Get your flu shot. The flu shot is free, widely available at many local pharmacies and your doctor’s office, and effective right through to March.
  • Wash your hands regularly and avoid social visits if you, or others are feeling unwell.
  • Visit your family doctor or a walk-in clinic if your health concern isn’t urgent.
  • If you think you have the flu and are otherwise healthy, stay home; drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest and take over-the-counter medications for comfort. Most people start to feel better in a couple of days.
  • Our ED wait times page shows our current wait times and includes a list of all nearby walk-in clinics and their hours of operations.
  • You can also print off this handy list of walk-in clinics and their hours of operation!

CLICK HERE for Grand River Hospital's wait times page.

CLICK HERE for the wait times page for Cambridge Memorial Hospital.


Mark Pare

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