FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2010
HIGH OCCUPANCY RATES AT QUEENSWAY CARLETON HOSPITAL
FORCES SURGICAL CANCELLATIONS
Queensway Carleton Hospital has been forced to cancel 39 elective surgeries over the past month
as a result of extremely high occupancy rates and high numbers of alternative level of care
(ALC) patients waiting transfer out of hospital. Nine of the 13 surgeries scheduled for today
were cancelled as a result of a morning occupancy rate of 113%.
“We are currently experiencing the highest number of ALC patients in our corporate history.
Today QCH is experiencing overcapacity with 35% of our medicine and surgical beds occupied
by ALC patients,” said Dr. Andrew Falconer, Chief of Staff at QCH. “In addition we have been
working with an occupancy rate of 105-110% for more than a month now. We have had to make
these difficult decisions daily but they are necessary in order to ensure we are not putting our
patients at risk.”
QCH has two units closed due to a gastro outbreak which has put additional pressure on the
The high occupancy has also resulted in the admission of patients to QCH’s Emergency
Department. For several days, 14 to19 of the 20 ED beds have been occupied by admitted
patients waiting for hospital beds. This creates an unsafe environment for the care of patients.
High occupancy levels are affecting the Hospital’s ability to manage patients that are referred
from other hospitals. Queensway Carleton Hospital will review transfer requests from other
hospitals on a case by case basis to determine its ability to safely care for those patients.
“We will continue to monitor this situation on a daily basis,” added Dr. Falconer.
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Judy Brown Director, Communications & Patient Relations 613-721-2000, ext. 5601