ED pilot project helps meet patient demand during Homecoming

News / Emergency Care
By John Pereira

SDAC opened as overflow area to provide extra space for patients ensuring all could access care

It was a typically busy weekend in the Emergency Department (ED) at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s KGH site as a result of Homecoming celebrations in Kingston, however a new pilot project made sure that patients continued to quickly access the care they needed.

In terms of total patient visits, Homecoming weekend has been a record-setter for the ED for the past two years, so KHSC has been working hard to look at different ways to handle the increase in demand for health-care services. Working in partnership with a number of departments across the organization, the Same Day Admissions Centre (SDAC) in the hospital's Connell wing was opened as an additional area to care for patients who required recovery and observation as a result of intoxication.

Patients were first triaged in the ED and if they met specific criteria were moved to the SDAC. The area was fully staffed so that patients received continual monitoring and care. Once they had recovered, they were discharged home or transferred to the Campus Observation Room. The project was first successfully trialed during St. Patrick’s Day and this was the first year the model was used for Homecoming weekend.

“As usual, the ED and Trauma teams were fantastic in handling a very difficult day. We would particularly like to thank the Surgical Program for lending us the SDAC space, as well as Environmental Services and Security for the heavy workloads they absorbed throughout the weekend,” says Carol McIntosh, Director of Emergency Services and Ambulatory Clinics. “We’re very pleased with how this initiative was able to free-up space in the ED on Saturday for a number of trauma cases that came into our KGH site.”

Overall there were 53 visits on Saturday alone as a result of the weekend’s celebration, which is up slightly from the year before. Twenty-one of those visits also included other physical injuries such as fractures or cuts. These visits were all on top of the normal volume of patients coming to the ED for emergency care.

“The main surge in patient volume occurred just after the football game, and then continued steadily after dinnertime. The SDAC was a vital resource for us in freeing up space as we had a large number patients from motor vehicle accident over the course of the day, including a significant number of serious trauma cases,” says Damiano Loricchio, ED Operations Manager.

The pilot project is part of an ongoing collaboration with Kingston Police, Frontenac Paramedic Services, the City of Kingston and Queen’s University to ensure that emergency services are able to continue to provide high-quality care, dignity and security to the community during large public events.

“I want to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment during somewhat difficult circumstances this weekend,” says McIntosh. “I am proud of our teams who really demonstrated KHSC’s values this weekend as we continued to provide the compassionate, high-quality, emergency care that our region relies on.”