Patient Care Excellence is Hospital-wide

In 2006, the Province of Ontario released its Places to Grow Act. In it, Guelph was named as one of the areas where the rate of population growth would exceed the provincial average.

According to Statistics Canada, the Guelph census area is one of seven Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada to experience accelerated growth between 2011 and 2016. During this time, the population in our area grew by 8.3 percent. Last year, Guelph was the 3rd highest growth area in the country and highest in Ontario.

That increase along with an aging population results in ever increasing demands for health care. At Guelph General Hospital, pressure was felt throughout the past year and continues to this day. There has been a sharp increase in our “Patient Days” which is a measure of how full we are. Compared to last year, our Patient Days increased by 8.4 per cent.

What does that look like at the Hospital? The pressures are felt across the organization. We’ve opened our “surge” beds normally set aside for flu season and we’ve had to keep them open. We’ve looked at converting non-traditional areas such as a Paediatric Day Surgery unit into a ward room for six patients to reduce the number of times we have to practice “hallway” medicine with bedded patients.

Having no empty beds means longer waits for people coming to our Emergency Department who need to be admitted. It means our lab is doing more tests, diagnostic imaging more scans, pharmacy filling more prescriptions and nurses and physicians caring for more patients. It impacts our support services too from our cleaning staff to food service providers. There’s even a need for more equipment such as beds. Unlike other years when pressures come and go depending on the severity of the flu season etc., the pressure now is relentless because what is causing it is different. A fast growing and aging population is here to stay in Guelph.

Despite these pressures, we continue to live our Mission of providing the highest quality care and experience to patients and their families. We’ve been able to do this through the dedication and professionalism of all our staff and by continuing to look for ways to do better. For example, this year we formed our first Patient and Family Advisory Council. It brings a different perspective to the table and will have a say in significant decisions being made at the hospital.

We will always do our best at Guelph General Hospital to meet the needs of the community we serve which continues to grow quickly. We are already the most cost efficient hospital in the area but will continue to explore ways do better.

The Hospital’s Senior team would like to recognize our amazing leaders, staff and clinicians for their ongoing commitment to providing the best care possible during these challenging times.