Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay hospital ER patient wait times just over 2 hours

The Canadian Institute for Health Information says it's performance measurements for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre look pretty good compared with similar hospitals.
(Wendy Bird/CBC)

The Canadian Institute for Health Information says its performance measurements for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre look pretty good compared with similar hospitals.

The report shows the hospital stacks up well against other teaching hospitals in a variety of safety and access-to-care categories.

One of those is the average wait time to see a doctor in the emergency department.

Institute spokesperson Kira Leeb said, “overall, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is doing well in that [patients wait] 2.2 hours, as opposed to teaching hospitals, where people are waiting 3.5 hours.”

The Thunder Bay hospital’s only indicator that's worse than average is the percentage of medical patients re-admitted to hospital after discharge.
Dr. Mark Henderson, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre executive vice- president, says the hospital is aiming to improve followup mechanisms after a patient's discharge. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

Hospital vice-president Mark Henderson said the difference is marginal, but the Health Sciences Centre is looking at solutions.

“One set of patients we've identified who come back frequently are those with chronic obstructive lung disease,” he said.

“And another group we've identified have congestive heart failure. We're developing pathways to look after patients in the hospital, and those pathways include improved follow-up mechanisms following discharge."

Henderson added one reason for the slightly higher readmission rate is that so many patients in Thunder Bay do not have a family doctor, so they tend to return to the hospital when they don't think they are doing well.

Leeb noted readmission rates are going up across the country.

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