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Ontario kids’ hospital looks to redeploy staff, use online tools to tackle long waits

Author of the article:

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario says it is redeploying staff and looking at online tools to help families navigate care options in response to “unprecedented” pressures.

CHEO has advised families of long wait times at its emergency department amid high occupancy rates and staff shortages that have led to cancelled surgeries and other procedures.

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The Ottawa-based hospital today detailed steps it’s taking to ensure safe care for patients, including moving more medical professionals to frontline roles, adding shifts and embedding specialists with clinical care teams to ensure people are discharged sooner.

CHEO says it is working to add more positions to its emergency department, improve wait time modelling on its website and launch new online tools to help families navigate and access care more easily.

The hospital says its medical units are currently at 124 per cent occupancy amid a surge in patients needing mental health and critical care, adding that April to September was the busiest six-month period in its history.

CHEO, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children and McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton have all detailed long wait times due to increased demand and pressure on their hospitals, noting a significant rise in respiratory infections and staff shortages.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2022.