6:52 p.m.

New Code Gridlock procedure keeps patients moving through our EDs

This year, we experienced a higher-than-normal number of surges: spikes in the number of patients coming through our Emergency Department and inpatient units. In the past, we have often experienced a surge around the holiday season but this year, increasing numbers of patients became our new normal.

More patients coming through our EDs leads to more patients being admitted to our inpatient units. But sometimes the number of patients needing to be admitted exceeds the number of beds available, which can cause backups in the ED, longer wait times and patients waiting in the hallways.

To ensure our patients have timely access to the care they need, Osler introduced Code Gridlock: an innovative new program that monitors patient flow throughout the hospital and triggers responses to help ease congestion. If we reach the point where we have 30 patients awaiting admission in the ED with less than 10 patients confirmed to be discharged, we call Code Gridlock, set up a command centre and work with internal teams and external partners to move patients through our hospitals and local health system safely and efficiently.

As one of the busiest EDs in the country, Osler is a breeding ground for innovation. Code Gridlock is just one of the ways we ensure our patients receive excellent, compassionate care, no matter how busy we are.