How the WRHA managed during the first two waves of the pandemic
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) released its annual report on Tuesday looking at how hospitals functioned in the region over the last year.
The report covers several topics including critical incidents at hospitals, births, surgeries, and hospital visits.
Mike Nader, the president and CEO of the WRHA, said the pandemic has been the main focus for the organization and it has taken a toll on the medical staff.
"This past fiscal ending March 31, 2021, was a very challenging one, not just for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority but for the health system as a whole, as we saw the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic reach our region," said Nader. "The pandemic has greatly affected the health-care sector and as a result, much of our work this year has been focused on fighting the virus and managing the impacts of the pandemic on the health-care service delivery."
The first stat the WRHA looks at is critical incidents within the hospital system. Legislation defines a critical incident as an unintended result to a patient that is considered serious, such as death, disability, injury or harm, an unplanned hospital visit or an extension of a hospital stay. It also does not happen from the patient's health condition or from a risk that comes from providing health services.
Between 2020 and 2021, the WRHA said there 79 critical incidents which is up from the 68 reported between 2019 and 2020.
Eighteen of these incidents were due to COVID-19, which was not recorded in the previous year. Acute care had the highest number of incidents at 49 but was down from 59 in 2019.
The largest number of incidents in one category were from skin and tissue events with 23, up from 13 the previous year.
The WRHA also documented how many complaints that were received over the year as Client Relations dealt with 2,524 complaints. This was slightly up from the 2,368 in 2019.
The majority of the complaints had to do with COVID-19 with 1,145 followed by 891 complaints related to care/treatment of a patient, which was actually down from the 1,000 complaints in 2019.
When looking at complaints by program, Emergency/Urgent Care received the most complaints with 774 but that is down from 907.
Family Medicine complaints were also up in 2020 with 514, compared to 300 in 2019.
Compliments about services provided were also recorded with 474 presented to Client Relations, down from the 680 the previous year.
URGENT CARE VISITS
Urgent care visit overall in the WRHA were down by just under 12,000 visits. A total of 140,143 visits happened in 2020-21 down from the 152,457 in 2019.
Despite the overall decline in visits, they were actually up at the Concordia Urgent Care and the Seven Oaks Urgent Care.
Home care services were also slightly down to 18,029 patients receiving care from 18,411.
SURGERIES AND BIRTHS
Throughout the pandemic health-care services took a hit as energy was focused towards COVID-19 and that was the case with surgeries.
Many surgeries had to be postponed and that was reflected in the WRHA's numbers as only 11,325 OR surgeries were performed in 2020, down from the 13,989 done in 2019. Day surgeries also dropped from 29,899 to 21,343.
There were also fewer births in the WRHA as they dipped from 6,024 to 4,975. Despite this, more births happened at the birth centre going from 233 to 296.
OTHER HOSPITAL STATISTICS
The number of beds in the WRHA slightly increased to 2,274 from 2,265 and the average occupancy was 85.26 per cent down from the 92.30 occupancy in 2019.
The number of Emergency Department/Urgent Care admissions were down in 2020 but the percentage of overall visits was up from 11.01 per cent to 11.34 per cent.
Just over 6,100 left before being seen.
These stats did not include the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg.