Hospitals experience expected patient surge


When you hear the term “surge protection,” most of us think of a power bar that protects our electronic equipment from unexpected power surges.

That’s not the case with the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Surge protection in this case addresses patient surges, which occur because of an uptick in illness.

The CKHA received additional funding to address expected seasonal surging, and it came into place over the holiday season.

“We budgeted for it and saw it happen,” Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the CKHA said. “Over the 12 days of Christmas, we saw our occupancy rise to 106 per cent. The surge funding allowed us to increase our number of beds.”

The Erie-St. Clair LHIN – Local Health Integrated Network – allocated more than $300,000 to the CKHA to deal with the anticipated surge. In the past, the alliance has had to address the surge and then seek funding.

During the surge, Marshall said the emergency rooms saw increases in volumes, and 20 to 30 per cent of that volume was from people with influenza-like symptoms.

She added the surging may not be over.

“A second surge may still be coming,” she said. “The funding covers until the end of March.”



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