Report says Offload Times Down Drastically for Essex Windsor EMS

Some changes are paying off for Essex-Windsor EMS when it comes to offload wait-times.

According to a first quarter report brought to Essex County Council Wednesday night,  offload times are down nearly 7,000-hours over the same four month period last year. That works out to around three full-time ambulances on the road 40-hours per week dealing with patients instead of waiting in ER bays, according to Chief Bruce Krauter.

He says a real-time situational dashboard system added late last year, diverting patients to other facilities when possible, and the community making better choices when deciding whether or not to call EMS are major factors in the improved numbers.

Krauter tells AM800 News the current model is working and will continue to work.

"Sustainable over the past four months going into five months and that was through flu season and through the diversion protocols where different areas of the county were either transported into the city or transported into Erie Shores Health Care in Leamington," he says. "People are either seeing their primary care provider or going to alternate destinations on their own instead of using EMS to go to the emergency department. That then has an impact the decrease in offloading delays over the whole system."

Krauter says a lot of problems have been solved in partnership with Windsor Regional Hospital, Erie Shores Health Care and the Local Health Integration Network — but there's still room for improvement.

"Treat, refer and transport to alternate destinations, meaning a mental health patient, do they have to go to the emergency department or can they go to an alternate destination to seek the right help at the right place at the right time," says Krauter. "Those are some of the shortcomings that we're addressing with the LHIN and the province trying to get those done."

Essex-Windsor EMS began working with call report vendor Interdev Technologies in January of 2018 to develop a real-time dashboard — the tool reduces voice communication and speeds up deployment decisions. 

They began using the tool in December of 2018.