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New Emergency Department Information System

Selkirk & District General Hospital launches new Emergency Department Information System

February 24, 2014 – Selkirk & District General Hospital will be launching a new Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) on March 4, making it the second hospital outside of Winnipeg to begin using this system.

EDIS is a computerized system that enhances communication, supporting timely patient care in the emergency department. Patient information is entered electronically to ensure it can be accessed and read by caregivers who need it. Any test reports or results will be flagged in the system for health care providers to view as soon as they are available.

New to the emergency department’s patient waiting room is a wait time display board. This board displays information such as the number of patients waiting and length of time most patients have been waiting. Over the first three weeks the EDIS is operational, information will be collected to calculate wait times for patient visits. These wait times will begin to appear on the patient wait board in early April.

In the emergency room, EDIS provides emergency room staff with patient tracking information that includes details about each patient admitted to the emergency room.

According to Blair Stevenson, clinical site manager at Selkirk & District General Hospital, EDIS helps shorten the time between arrival at the emergency room and access to care.

“EDIS allows emergency staff to decrease patient time to treatment,” Stevenson said. “Previously there could have been a delay in physicians receiving diagnostic reports and results. Now as soon as new information is available, the results will be flagged in the system enabling more timely care and decision making.”

He added that the severity of a person’s condition will still ultimately dictate if they are first in line to see a health care provider or if there will be other with greater priority.

“Waiting in an emergency room isn’t like taking a number at the hardware store to determine when you’ll be served. If you are experiencing shortness of breath or have another life threatening condition, of course you will be seen quicker than someone coming in with a minor burn or skin irritation. That doesn’t mean someone with a minor burn shouldn’t receive help, but because they are less critical, they will have to wait longer,” Stevenson said. “Sometimes more than one patient will be prioritized above less critical conditions – that isn’t going to change.”

Selkirk & District General Hospital treated approximately 25,800 emergency room patients in 2013 – an average of 71 patients per day. An estimated 3.5 per cent of all emergency room visitors required critical care. Approximately 70 per cent of the visits to Selkirk’s emergency room are not urgent.

For those with less serious health concerns there are alternatives to the emergency room. Selkirk’s QuickCare Clinic is open seven days a week for non-urgent appointments that can be made same day by calling 204.482.4399. For a complete listing of office hours, please click here.

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