Woodstock ER recognized for reducing offload delays

As hospitals around Ontario look to shorten the amount of time patients arriving in ambulances wait for care, they might be able to look to Woodstock for inspiration.

Woodstock Hospital was recently recognized by the province for achieving significant reductions in its offload delays.

Last year, 90 per cent of ambulance trips to the hospital resulted in patients being moved to a hospital stretcher or wheelchair in 21 minutes or less. Across southwestern Ontario, the average offload time is 49 minutes.

Hospital officials say the 2017 number represents a 22 per cent decrease from the average offload delay experienced in 2016. They attribute the improvement to a number of factors, including moving patients around the hospital more officially and real-time data collection.

Oxford County Paramedic Services chief Ben Addley says the reduction in offload delays also allows ambulances to get to other patients quicker.