wait times

In limbo: Why patient transfers between hospitals needs improving

A few weeks ago, a patient came into the emergency department in a rural hospital in Ontario, after a family member witnessed him collapse and performed CPR. The emergency doctor ordered an electrocardiogram. It suggested a heart attack but the changes could have resulted from the CPR. Plus, the patient was coughing up blood, which meant he

Stranded in the Emergency Department

Heather Murray

It’s a weekend shift in a Canadian Emergency Department. On a stretcher lies a woman in her sixties. She has, just this week, been diagnosed with an advanced cancer. Her symptoms crept up on her, unnoticed or passed off as the result of inactivity during a long cold winter.  These multiple niggling things had finally

Policy implications for the virtualization of health services

Will Falk healhtydebate.ca blogger

Virtual care (where the provider and patient are separated in space and sometimes in time) is a natural next step in technological innovation for healthcare. Increasing care virtualization has the potential to improve quality of life for patients while increasing the healthcare system’s efficiency but it presents substantial challenges for clinicians and policy makers.  The

Improving hand offs between police and emergency departments

Police have been described as “street corner psychiatrists.” They are often the community resource that responds at all hours when emergency calls come in for someone in mental health crisis. Police also serve a gatekeeper function in determining what services are required for an individual in crisis. They are tasked with the important and difficult

Urgent surgery: a forgotten wait time?

urgent care

There is a growing body of research suggesting that patients with urgent surgical needs are waiting too long for surgery. From the time that they present to an emergency department to being booked in for surgery, they can experience many periods of prolonged waits. While wait times for elective surgery are measured in Canada, waits for urgent surgery are not.

Alberta regulatory body makes important move to address private MRIs

Lynette Reid

In a surprising move, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta has challenged financial barriers to medical imaging. While some believe that regulatory colleges should limit themselves to individual physician discipline, the Canadian public should support the growing willingness of Colleges to move beyond disciplinary issues to act as a voice for the public

Wait times for “non-priority” surgeries

Wait times for "non-priority" surgery

Katie’s story Three years ago, Katie (name and some details changed to protect her identity) was in a car accident on a rural road two hours outside of an urban centre. Her ankle was crushed in the accident, and after a delay of several hours due to weather, she was air-lifted to the nearest trauma