Headwaters hospital prepares for busy ER in holiday season

December 23, 2014   ·   0 Comments

With the regular hustle and bustle of the holiday season, hospitals are no stranger to the busyness the rest of the world sees. During the holidays, Emergency Departments (EDs) in hospitals across the province will see an increase in patients seeking medical care during the holidays. Locally, the increase has started despite most holidays not beginning until Christmas Eve.

Headwaters Health Care Centre said in a press release that as of December 19, both staff and physicians had already seen an increased number of patients coming through the doors for care, with 16 per cent more patients seeking medical assistance than compared to this time last year.

“We anticipate an annual increase in patient volume during the holiday season and we plan accordingly to be able to accommodate the influx,” said Dr. Somaiah Ahmed, Chief of Staff and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Headwaters.

“A combination of robust planning with various clinical teams throughout our hospital to increase staffing and make beds available, as well as sharing helpful information with the community are important components to ensuring we are able to deliver exceptional care to our patients during this busy time.”

There are several reasons why hospital EDs are busier over the holidays, ranging from an increase in flu cases to higher rates of health incidents caused by holiday seasons and activities. Limited availability of community resources, as well as reduced hours of operation for doctor’s offices and walk-in clinics are another factor in the increase of patients.

In order to help residents who may be in need of receiving care during the holiday season, Headwaters is sharing tips and information with the community.

“Currently we are doing all we can on site to ensure patients receive the care they need despite the increase in volume at our hospital,” said Dr. Ahmend. “We are also proactively sharing tips and information with the community to ensure that people are well informed about their options for receiving care if they are ill.”

Friendly tips to help you prevent a visit to the hospital this holiday season:

• ind out your family doctor’s hours

• chedule any needed appointments before the holidays.

• ill your prescription medication and stock up on any needed medical supplies (e.g. needles, glucose, testing equipment, inhalers, etc.)

• ash your hands frequently.

• f you haven’t already, get a flu shot.

• f you feel sick, consider staying home to prevent others from getting sick.

• rive responsibly.

• e fire-safe.

• hovel with care.

• f you’re traveling, bring your Ontario Health Card, any prescription and non-prescription (like vitamins or herbal remedies) medications and medical supplies with you.

• f you live outside of Ontario, bring your medical insurance information with you when you travel.

For those in need of emergency health care services, the Headwaters Emergency Department is open 24/7. If a health issue is life-threatening, or you are unsure, dial 911 immediately.

More tips for holiday health care are available online at www.headwatershealth .ca/holidaycare.

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