Guelph General Hospital provided leadership with regional Surge Plan update

Dr. Ian Digby, Chief of Emergency Medicine advocated for a number of years for a Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN)-wide surge plan. This year, he and GGH’s Michelle Bott, led the needed update.

The surge plan prepares for the anticipated increase in demand for healthcare service that happens this time of the year.

“Winter months are busy within our healthcare system,” says Ian. “Infectious diseases are at their peaks, there are more slips and falls and the rate of mental health crisis rises. Hospital Emergency Departments always feel the most pressure.”

The plan has evolved over a number of years, according to Eileen Bain, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. This year, one significant focus has been for all Health Service Providers to consider how they will be able to contribute to surge efforts by developing their own internal surge plan.

Often the surge pressure first shows up in Emergency Departments. Being able to manage the increase in demand and continue providing great care requires a healthcare system that extends beyond hospital walls.

“The plan involves all community partners in every sector of the health system to ensure every organization is working at their optimum,” says Dr. Digby. “This ensures each patient gets the right care at the right time by the right caregiver and maintains flow through the healthcare system.”

Updating the WWLHIN-wide plan took considerable time, effort and leadership, says Eileen. “I would like to thank Michelle Bott who co-chaired the update with Ian for their continued efforts to develop a plan that will help to better care for and meet the needs of our patients.”