Royal Victoria Hospital Patient Volumes Are At An All Time High


Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is experiencing unprecedented patient activity and acuity impacting patient wait times and availability of beds for admitted patients. To safely manage the surging volumes of patients RVH has opened another 10-bed temporary overflow unit in its new Cardiac Intervention Unit.
Despite opening a 36-bed Transitional Care Unit in December, RVH’s medical bed occupancy has spiked to 135 per cent and admitted patients are being cared for in unconventional spaces such as hallways, temporary surge units and in the Emergency Department.
“These soaring patient volumes have made it extremely difficult to provide timely care,” says Dr. Jeffrey Tyberg, an emergency physician and RVH Chief of Staff. “When you have patients who are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, but no available hospital beds, the Emergency department becomes gridlocked, people receive care in spaces that aren’t meant for patient care and wait times grow.”
RVH has experienced surge conditions for over a year with occupancy rates consistently over 110 per cent. A significant factor contributing to RVH’s capacity challenge is that the health centre is caring for almost 90 Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients who are awaiting placement in an alternate location such as a nursing home, long-term care facility or require home-care services.
During this busy time its important people consider whether they require emergency care or, if their health condition isn’t urgent, they can consult their family doctor, a walk-in clinic or Telehealth. In case of an emergency, patients should always call 911 immediately or go to the closest Emergency Department. If coming to the Emergency Department, please limit support to one person to avoid further congestion.


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