Categories: Health & Wellness

Health monitor: Sturgeon Hospital wait times and U of A research programs receive government funding

The Health Quality Council of Alberta said the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert had the highest wait times of medium sized hospitals in Alberta.

A long time waiting

According to the latest report from the Health Quality Council of Alberta, Sturgeon Community Hospital still has the longest wait times among other medium-sized hospitals in emergency departments for urgent and less urgent care.

For urgent care, five out of 10 patients waited less than two hours to see a doctor, while the other half waited longer.

Urgent care covers anything that isn’t regarded as a life-threatening condition but still requires immediate attention. That could include: head injury coupled with vomiting or nausea, asthma, chest pains or vomiting and diarrhea.

When it comes to less urgent care, Sturgeon Community Hospital had the longest wait time out of any other medium-sized hospital in Alberta.

Five out of 10 patients waited under 1.5 hours to see a doctor from the time they arrived, while the other half waited longer.

Patients might be labelled as less urgent if they arrive with: head injury with no vomiting or nausea, back pains, ear-aches or headaches.

The findings were part of the third quarterly report released by the Health Quality Council of Alberta, which measures how well emergency departments are doing across Alberta. The report shows data from Oct. to Dec. 2017.

The council receives data from each hospital, covering topics such as emergency wait times, total length of stay, communication between patient and staff and how many patients returned back to the emergency department, among other topics.

The hospital did outrank other medium-sized hospitals when it comes to communication about possible side effects of prescription drugs. According to the report, 71 out of 100 patients at the Sturgeon hospital were told about possible side effects.

Funding goals

A few research projects at the University of Alberta have received funding from the provincial government. The projects include:

• An analysis of the effects of occupational activity such as standing, shift work and physically demanding work on maternal and fetal health, lead by Dr. Margie Davenport at the University of Alberta.

• A project to engage Indigenous communities in improving workplace health and safety, lead by Dr. Patricia Makokis at the University of Alberta.

• An examination of the effectiveness of creative sentences, which focus on restorative justice for the community and victims, in reducing workplace injuries, lead by Dr. Heather Eckert at the University of Alberta.

• A study determining how the health of Alberta bakers is affected by exposure to flour and related products, lead by Dr. Nicola Cherry at the University of Alberta.

• A survey to help provide threat and risk awareness to individuals and organizations, lead by Dr. Louis Francescutti at the University of Alberta.

One other research project is taking place at the University of Calgary and two others at the University of British Columbia. All eight projects, which focus on improving workplace safety in Canada, were provided up to $1 million in funding.

Dayla Lahring :Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.