December 3, 2003

WRHA Outlines Improvements to Emergency Care

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is committed to continuing to improve patient services in its Emergency Departments, Dr. Brian Postl, President and CEO said today.

"I find recent media reports of delays in accessing emergency care very concerning," he said.

"And I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the Chief Medical Examiner and working with him to address his concerns."

Dr. Postl noted that even before this issue was raised in the media, the WRHA had conducted a clinical critical occurrence review and appointed a team to implement its recommendations for improving emergency care. Those recommendations are already in the process of being implemented.

They include:

  • Improving protocols for regularly reassessing Emergency Department patients after their initial triage.
  • Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the Triage Nurse and Clinical Resource Nurse, to improve communication and problem solving capacity.
  • Ensuring vital signs are routinely documented at the initial triage stage and that all communication with waiting patients and family also is documented.
  • Expanding criteria for EKG tests to include a broader range of symptoms.

Dr. Postl said the implementation team has also been asked to review the processes in place to deal with surges in patient volume to ensure the appropriate mechanisms to deal with them are in place.

He also noted a number of improvements have already been implemented in the past few years including:

  • Actively recruiting and training ER nurses
  • Aligning staff ratios to match ER visits at each site
  • Creating positions for and hiring psychiatric nurses in ER departments to deal with mental health patients.
  • Increasing physician hours at SBGH.
  • Improving ER space through construction and/or renovations at several sites.
  • Developing and updating ambulance re-direction policies to reflect changing conditions.
  • Piloting an electronic triage system to assist the nurse, that will be in place throughout the region next year.

Dr. Postl noted that an external review conducted three years ago reported Winnipeg compared favourably to other regions, though still had room for improvement. The Report noted that, "significant resources at a senior level have been devoted to managing ED overcrowding and this has resulted in great progress."

"That does show this is an issue that health regions across the country are struggling with, not just Winnipeg," Dr. Postl said.

Bookmark Email Print Share this on Facebook SHARE Share this on Twitter Tweet RSS Feeds RSS

Latest Headlines

Press Releases

News Archive

Make text smaller Make text bigger
Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

WRHA Accessibility Plan Icon
Wait Times
View the Winnipeg Health Region's current approximate Emergency Department and Urgent Care wait times.

View wait times
Find Services
Looking for health services in Winnipeg?

Call Health Links-Info Sante at 788-8200

Search 211 Manitoba

Explore alternatives to emergency departments at

Find a Doctor
Contact Us
Do you have any comments or concerns?

Click here to contact us
The Winnipeg Health Region has a variety of career opportunities to suit your unique goals and needs.

Visit our Careers site
WRHA Logo Help| Terms of Use | Contact Us | En français