Interior Health is making progress in trying to reduce wait times at emergency rooms, a new system in the Okanagan should be in place at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops by late summer.
An emergency room pilot project in Kelowna determined waits in some cases, were chopped by at least an hour.
The Executive Medical Director Dr. Nick Balfour says, when a person goes to hospital they are usually met by a nurse who determines the next step.
However, he says, in this case a doctor has now joined the initial assessment team.
“We have made a decision to explore what it would be like actually have a physician as a first point of contact as a patient when you present to the triage desk. In the pilot model you are assessed by not only the triage nurse but by the triage physician who can take a brief history and determine importantly where you need to go in the emergency department.”
Dr. Balfour would like to expand the program to other hospitals, including Kamloops.