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Local hospitals not in provincial report

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An acute care survey released last week from the Ontario Hospital Association saw 92 hospitals participate from a total of 123 in Ontario (representing 173 sites).

But neither La Verendrye hospital here, nor the health centres in Emo and Rainy River, were listed in the results, perhaps causing some district residents to wonder: “Why?”

“The answer is we decided not to participate in it this time,” said Wayne Woods, CEO of Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc., which is based here.

“It’s a fairly complicated process,” he noted. “They get all the patients that stay here for a certain amount of time during a certain period of time, usually a three month-period.

“We found that this doesn’t always fairly reflect the work going on at the hospitals. So we have been participating every other year instead.

“We’re participating this time [in 2003],” added Woods. “I think they’re going to start to measure soon.”

Riverside did participate in the acute care report in 2001, at which time it placed “in the middle of the pack,” said Woods.

But he also stressed the three district health care facilities, as part of internal policy, monitor patient satisfaction on an ongoing basis.

Highlights of the “Hospital Report 2002: Acute Care” was an insert in last week’s Times.

In related news, Woods said he remains hopeful Phase IV renovations at La Verendrye hospital will begin sometime in late spring.

“Things are progressing,” he noted. “But until we get that letter in our hands, we really can’t make an official announcement.

“We’re hoping to get the plans finalized soon. We’ve been making sure everything’s in there,” he added. “And of course, the Ministry of Health wants to make sure everything’s in there, too.”

The $8-million-plus job—originally estimated at $5.5 million before the ministry’s recommendations—will include improvements or total overhauls to the X-ray department, emergency room, operating rooms, and lab.

The expansion also would include re-locating the dialysis unit, which has been operating at La Verendrye for about 10 months, and possibly the addition of a computerized tomography (CT) imaging unit, which has the ability to image a combination of soft tissue, bone, and blood vessels.

“It’s one of the things we made space for in the plans, but it will have to be another thing we look at after we get this done,” Woods had said previously.

“We’ll have to go through another process.”

The extensive overhaul—which could take 18 months to two years to complete—will be funded by both the Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s “Care Close to Home” campaign and the provincial government.

The work—which will be done in phases—is not expected to disrupt medical care to patients.

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