GBGH expands urology services to align with community needs
Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is improving access to care closer to home by expanding the urology services available at the hospital. Dr. Tyler Gray is one of two urologists practicing at GBGH on a weekly basis both in the surgical and ambulatory care programs.
May 31, 2022 – To further improve access to care closer to home, Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) has expanded the urology services offered within its surgical and ambulatory care programs. This urology service expansion is part of the hospital’s surgical optimization plan to align its services with community needs and provide opportunities for patients to receive care in their home hospital.
Urology services at GBGH are provided by Dr. Tyler Gray and Dr. Derek Bos of Near North Urology (Orillia), who are performing urology procedures in the operating room once per month and the ambulatory care department on a weekly basis.
“It is very important local patients are able to receive their care within their home community whenever possible,” says Dr. Tyler Gray, urologist, GBGH. “By having urology services available at GBGH it means less travel, fewer logistics and it increases the likelihood that patients will follow-through with evaluation and treatment. An additional benefit for patients at GBGH is low wait times for surgical procedures. Patients’ urological procedures can be performed sooner while also having the comfort and ease of staying closer to home.”
In addition to the practice of Dr. Gray and Dr. Bos, the expansion of urology services has also been possible due to new equipment recently purchased by the hospital. New resectoscope trays and instrumentation has enabled the hospital to make one of the most significant changes in urology services – the addition of day surgery transurethral resections of the prostate (TURP). This procedure treats urinary issues caused by an enlarged prostate. TURP procedures are very common, but previously required an overnight stay in hospital due to GBGH’s aged equipment. This was problematic as GBGH usually runs overcapacity without vacant inpatient beds to accommodate these surgical patients. With the purchase of the new trays and instruments, the TURP can now be completed using different methods with less bleeding, fewer complications and no overnight stay required.
In addition to TURPs, GBGH offers a wide variety of other urological evaluations and procedures through its surgical and ambulatory care departments. These include evaluating and treating masses and pain, addressing urinary issues (retention, frequency, recurring infections), vasectomies, adult circumcision, erectile dysfunction, testicular removal (orchiectomy), and the consultation and management of prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.
To ensure other physicians in the community are aware of the urology services available to local patients at GBGH and how to refer patients, the hospital has contacted local family physicians and nurse practitioners (NP). Patients can ask their family physician or NP about the referral process to have their urology care completed at GBGH. In addition to urology, GBGH’s surgical and ambulatory care programs offer general surgery and specialty procedures, including orthopedic, ophthalmology, gynecology, urology and ear/nose/throat.
Data gathered by GBGH about patient patterns for surgical procedures indicates more than 3,700 local patients from Midland, Penetanguishene and the surrounding area are currently travelling elsewhere in Simcoe County, or outside the region, for procedures which could have been completed at GBGH. Specifically, only 22 per cent of local patients received their surgical care at GBGH with more than 40 per cent leaving Simcoe County entirely. This equates to more than 7,500 hours of time and 600,000 km in distance.
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