GBGH measuring up in ED return visits
April 3, 2018 – Hospitals measure their progress in many aspects of their operations. This is how they know their care stacks up against other hospitals in the region and the province. By comparing performance, hospitals have a benchmark to know what they do well and what they could improve. For Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), measuring the number of Emergency department (ED) return visits is just one of many statistics collected to determine performance.
In 2015, Ontario introduced the Emergency department (ED) Return Visit Program for hospitals as a quality improvement initiative to measure the number of patients returning to EDs across the province. There are two factors measured in the program. The first is the number of patients who return within 72 hours of discharge from their initial ED non-admit visit to any hospital, and require admission to the hospital. The other type of return visit measured is the number of patients who return to any ED within seven days of discharge from an initial non-admit ED visit with a sentinel diagnosis (intercranial bleed, pediatric sepsis or heart attack).
“The ED Return Visit Program is an important measurement for hospitals as it reinforces our commitment to quality care and continuous improvement,” says Dr. Dan Lee, chief of Emergency, GBGH. “This program ensures we employ best practices for follow-up care and helps mitigate risks to patients. By reviewing the data, we learn how we can continually improve quality and learn what we can do better for the next patient.”
GBGH’s participation in the ED Return Visits Program is an important tool in its ongoing quality improvement efforts. GBGH’s most recent data (2016 data reviewed during 2017) indicates the hospital is doing well in both areas measured for return visits. GBGH had the lowest return rate of any hospital in our region – 0.38 per 1,000 visits – for patients with a sentinel diagnosis. The North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) average was 0.55 per 1,000 visits.
GBGH was among the lowest hospitals in the LHIN for return visits within 72 hours with a score of 8.62 per 1,000 visits. The LHIN average is 9.48 per 1,000 visits and the provincial average is 10.29 per 1,000 visits. Now having completed the second year of the program, there is evidence of a positive trend. In 2015, the program’s first year, GBGH was on par with the LHIN average and higher than the provincial average for sentinel diagnosis.
“These are important results for GBGH because they show we provide quality services,” says Dawn Major, chief performance, quality and risk officer, GBGH. “One of the most important factors to consider when reviewing that data is how our results can be impacted by access to community supports. When patients leave our Emerg, they need to have timely access to
services to ensure their condition is being managed and appropriate follow-up care is provided. This is what helps patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time – whether that be from their primary care provider, outpatient services, home and community care or in our ED.”
Communications Officer, GBGH
705-526-1300 ext 5177
Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is a 105-bed acute care community hospital located in Midland, Ontario. The hospital offers emergency, ambulatory, acute, intensive and complex continuing care, as well as imaging, dialysis, obstetrical and rehabilitation services. GBGH serves the areas of Midland, Penetanguishene, Christian Island as well as Tay, Tiny, Springwater and Georgian Bay Townships.