In January, North York General Hospital (NYGH) introduced a Paediatric Short Stay Unit to provide young patients with timely access to acute care for up to eight hours.
The most common referrals to the Paediatric Short Stay Unit are for respiratory infections, jaundice, asthma and gastroenteritis. Family physicians and paediatricians in the community can contact the hospital for a paediatric consult and directly refer a patient to the short stay unit. Patients can also be referred through the Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency. This process ensures timely assessment, treatment and testing in a child friendly space, with clinicians who specialize in paediatric care.
“We’ve seen 230 patients in the Paediatric Short Stay Unit in only three months, and many parents shared they were really happy with the process, the care and just having these beds available to the community,” says Heather Su, Registered Nurse on the Child and Teen/Paediatric Short Stay Unit at NYGH. “Coming to a hospital can be a scary experience for young children. Being on the Paediatric Short Stay Unit can offer families a more comfortable and quiet environment, with tools and comfort measures for children available on the unit.”
Currently, there are four paediatric short stay beds on the Child and Teen Unit at North York General. “We know the paediatric short stay beds can significantly improve the care experience for our young patients and their families,” says Dr. Ronik Kanani, Chief of Paediatrics at NYGH. “This initiative is really about making sure our paediatric patients are getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time. From an organizational level, these beds have the added benefit of reducing Emergency Department visits and improving patient flow.”
Dr. Kanani says 80 per cent of referrals have come directly from the community; many of those would have come through the Emergency Department if the Paediatric Short Stay Unit was not available. The success of the Paediatric Short Stay Unit can be attributed to the partnerships between NYGH and the family health teams in the community, and the continued collaborative efforts between the hospital’s Child and Teen Program and the Emergency Department.