With patient volumes above 100 percent of the hospital’s funded bed capacity over the past year, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) has made the decision to open an additional 24 unfunded inpatient beds later this month.
For the past two years, the beds (located on unit B6) have been temporarily opened and staffed between December and March—providing additional space for patients during the traditional “surge” season, when respiratory illnesses like influenza (flu) have historically increased the volume of patients coming through the hospital.
This past spring and summer, however, patient numbers have continued to exceed hospital capacity, prompting the Health Centre to open 24 unfunded beds on a year-round basis.
“We are facing similar challenges to what is being seen in hospitals across the province,” says Colleen Armstrong, Director, Emergency & Medicine. “This year, we have had record numbers of patients coming through the doors of our Emergency Department and being admitted to inpatient beds every month, and there is no indication that these volumes can be expected to decrease anytime soon."
“Our goal is to continue to provide safe, quality care for our patients, and the addition of these beds will help to support that level of care throughout the organization,” adds Armstrong.
PRHC routinely has approximately 80 patients designated Alternative Level of Care (ALC) in hospital beds who no longer require hospitalization, but who remain in hospital care because there is no safe, suitable alternative available for them in the community.