Langford parent creates Facebook page dedicated to emergency room wait time updates

Langford parent creates Facebook page dedicated to emergency room wait time updates

A Langford mom has created a Facebook page dedicated to updating those in the Greater Victoria region on emergency room and health care updates in the area.

The idea came to Rosanna Carbone after experiencing long wait times during her most recent visit to the hospital.

A few weeks ago, Carbone took her son to the ER after two weeks of him being very ill.

“My little guy needed to be seen,” she said. “I tried calling the emergency room to see how long the wait time was, they wouldn’t let me know. So we went in and it was like an eight hour wait.”

Carbone said she waited for almost two hours before she thought “we can’t do this.”

Knowing how many people were ahead of her, with most being in more serious condition than her son, she decided to take her son home.

This is something Island Health is seeing more often.

According to a performance measure on those leaving the ER without seeing a doctor, published in January, about 5.1 per cent of those who receive a triage assessment from a nurse end up leaving the ER before seeing a doctor.

That is more than double Island Health’s target of two per cent.

In the performance measure, the health authority said, “Performance is significantly outside acceptable range; take action and monitor progress.”

Carbone told CHEK News this is a real problem.

“People need to be aware of wait times, I think they have the right to know how long they are expected to wait,” she explained.

Two weeks ago Carbone created the Victoria Emergency Room Updates and healthcare Facebook page, dedicated to sharing healthcare updates across the region.

People can post ER wait time updates as they are experiencing them, share their stories and give advice.

“It literally has blown up to almost 2,000 people, so clearly there is a need,” Carbone said.

Island Health’s performance measure stated that the health authority is working to improve care and wait times in the ER.

“One strategy is to improve wait times for diagnostic services in the emergency department (laboratory tests, x-rays, CT scans, etc.), so physicians receive the information required to begin appropriate care as soon as possible,” reads the report.

Another strategy is preventing unnecessary emergency department visits “through health promotion, increased access to primary care, and access to health care information such as HealthLink BC (8-1-1).”

Carbone hopes her information sharing page also highlights the struggles the health-care system is facing so more can be done to fix it.

“To opt for more walk-in clinics, more doctors,” she said. “Maybe in high school if kids are more aware of the health care field and what they have to offer.”

Her goal is to ensure to one facing health care issues falls through the cracks.

SEE ALSO: Victoria has 2nd longest wait times for walk-in clinics in Canada: Report

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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