GBGH adding full pulmonary function testing to enhance access for local patients

Female medical person running a computer while a patient sits in a glass booth with a breathing apparatus on her face.

Photo: Theresa O’Reilly (right), respiratory therapist at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), conducts a full pulmonary function test (PFT) in the hospital’s new PFT suite. GBGH has added full PFT to its services to provide high quality, lung function assessment closer to home for the community it serves.


April 4, 2023 – Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) will now be able to provide full pulmonary function testing (PFT) as part of its commitment to grow and align the hospital’s services to meet community needs. Prior to the addition of full PFT, effective April 4, GBGH offered spirometry testing and partial PFT to assess patients’ basic lung function. With this latest service enhancement, patients will not have to leave the area to have this critical lung function testing completed.

“GBGH is committed to providing care closer to home for patients where we can,” says Angie Saini, vice president, Clinical Services and chief nursing executive, GBGH. “Through an investment in the equipment, physician training and respiratory therapy resources, this service will positively impact hundreds of local residents. Bringing full PFT services to our hospital means patients will have access to the gold standard for accurate measurements of lung function, which is crucial in the diagnosis of respiratory conditions.”

When a patient is diagnosed as having decreased air flow through basic spirometry, they are often referred for a full PFT to aid in diagnosing lung diseases (i.e. COPD, asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath and emphysema), help monitor the response to treatment, and can guide decisions regarding further treatment and intervention. Some patients may also be referred for spirometry or PFT prior to elective surgery to evaluate if they are appropriate to receive general anesthetic. It can also be used to assess the effects of medications and measure progress in disease treatment.

GBGH performs approximately 600 simple spirometry tests per year, with half of these patients in need of more in-depth testing. Without full PFT at GBGH, these patients were previously referred to other hospitals in the region. The hospital projects it will be able to surpass 300 PFT appointments per year with the goal of eventually reaching 500 procedures annually. This estimate is based on the current outflow of local patients to other hospitals in the region.

Patients requiring PFT at GBGH will be referred through their primary care provider if identified as needing a lung function assessment.



Jennifer Moore

Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, GBGH

705-526-1300 ext 5177