North Simcoe Muskoka Health Providers Prepare For Holiday Surge Of Patients

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Graphic courtesy of the NSM LHIN

The North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN) is encouraging residents to get their flu shots and to be aware of their holiday healthcare options as the network aims to reduce the strain on Emergency Departments this winter season.

The NSM LHIN works with system partners throughout the year to create a strategy for the annual surge of patients around the holidays, which is mostly caused by influenza. The Ministry of Health announced funding earlier this year for additional surge beds to help address capacity issues in hospitals, which included the equivalent of 84 beds across North Simcoe Muskoka. Along with the additional beds, the NSM LHIN is working to address the holiday need by coordinating the use of daily monitoring tools to help local healthcare providers track the surge of patients. 

“People are encouraged to get a flu shot and to practice proper handwashing as a defence against influenza and to help ease surge volumes in the Emergency Department,” said a statement from the NSM LHIN. “Getting immunized annually is an important part of infection control as it protects not just you, but helps prevent the flu from being spread to family, friends, co-workers and patients.”

The LHIN is also facilitating communication between healthcare providers through a Holiday Open/Closed contact list and through regular check-ins regarding the heightened need for healthcare over the holidays. In addition, LHIN Home and Community Care will review all potential discharge options with patients and families, which includes the possibility of returning home with services.

For more information about healthcare resources, including holiday hours and contact information for organizations such as walk-in clinics, urgent care centres, pharmacies and crisis intervention assistance, visit the NSM LHIN website.

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