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Better Access, Better Care

Care that is changing to meet the needs of Islanders

More than 5,000 Islanders will turn 65 in the next five years.  One in three has a chronic condition such as high-blood pressure, diabetes, or emphysema.

Health services need to keep pace with the changing needs of Islanders.  Better Access, Better Care is about improving access to emergency services, general practitioners, elective surgeries, and long-term care for our seniors.









The right care, in the right place
The availability of more alternate care and long term care beds will make more acute-care hospital beds available for our sickest Islanders, and enhance long-term care.
  • Community Hospital O'Leary and Souris Hospital have become extended-care facilities, providing a combined 30 beds for those who do not require the specialized care of an acute-care facility but still need alternate levels of care.
  • Stewart Memorial Hospital in Tyne Valley has transitioned to a 23-bed long-term care facility.  Government has also committed to building a new long term care facility in the community to replace the existing one.
  • Dialysis services have remained at Souris and Western hospitals.


Better, faster emergency services
The new Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) at Western Hospital has stabilized emergency services in West Prince, and the addition of three new ambulances has freed other ambulances to respond to emergencies across the Island.

  • Two new rapid-response ambulances were added in August 2013 – one east and another west.
  • A new dedicated, inter-facility transfer ambulance started operation in December 2013.
  • Since September, 2013, Islanders have had access to 24-hour health advice from a registered nurse through the Telehealth 8-1-1 help line.


Questions & Answers
What has changed?
What is Telehealth 8-1-1?
When do I call 9-1-1 , go to the emergency department, or go to the CEC?
How will the CEC model increase access to family doctors?
When will these improvements take effect?

Q What has changed?
A
  • Community Hospital O'Leary and Souris Hospital have become extended-care facilities, providing a combined 30 beds for those who do not require the specialized care of an acute-care facility but still need alternate levels of care.
  • Stewart Memorial Hospital in Tyne Valley is now a 23-bed long-term care facility.
  • The Western Hospital emergency department has transitioned to a Collaborative Emergency Centre overnight model using highly skilled, non-physician health professionals–with physician-based care in the daytime.
  • Two rapid emergency response units have been added to our emergency response vehicle fleet, one in the east and another in the west.
  • One inter-facility transfer ambulance, which is dedicated to transporting patients between facilities, has also been added.
  • Islanders now have access to the 24-hour Telehealth 8-1-1 health advice line, which is staffed by a registered nurse. More information on 8-1-1 is available at www.healthpei.ca/811.
   
Q What is Telehealth 8-1-1?
A
  • 8-1-1 is a 24-hour help line that provides callers with free, health information and advice from a registered nurse (RN).  These RNs can also advise callers whether or not they should seek additional treatment at a health care facility. More information on 8-1-1 is available at www.healthpei.ca/811.
   
Q When do I call 9-1-1 , go to the emergency department, or go to the CEC?
A
  • Call 9-1-1 or go the ED for life threatening illnesses and injuries: suspected heart attack, seizures, severe abdominal pain, significant bleeding, difficulty breathing, signs of a stroke (sudden weakness, trouble speaking, vision problems, headache, dizziness).
  • Visit the CEC overnight for medical problems that require prompt attention but are not life threatening such as mild fever, minor burns, sprains, and strains.
  • For non-urgent care, make an appointment with your family physician, or call 8-1-1 to speak directly to a registered nurse or visit a walk-in clinic.
   
Q How will the CEC model increase access to family doctors?
A
  • With the Collaborative Emergency Centre model in place, family doctors do not have to work as much, overnight, in the emergency department.  This has given them more time to see patients during the day at their offices and clinics.
  • For example, since the CEC opened in November, and with the addition of two Nurse Practitioners, an additional 796 patient appointments were made available compared to the same time last year.  That is, 796 appointments were opened to patients in the area that would not have been available in 2013.
   
Q When will these improvements take effect?
A
  • Community Hospital O'Leary and Souris Hospital began transitioning to extended-care facilities in July, 2013.
  • Stewart Memorial Hospital in Tyne Valley began the transition to a 23-bed long-term care facility in June, 2013.
  • The Collaborative Emergency Centre in Alberton was opened in November, 2013.
  • Two rapid emergency response units began providing service in August, 2013.
  • The inter-facility transfer ambulance began operating in December, 2013.
  • The 24-hour Telehealth 8-1-1 service began operating on PEI in September, 2013
  • Two Nurse Practitioners were hired in late summer 2013 to work in West Prince.


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