Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital Offers H1N1 Vaccine to Hospital Staff and Physicians


Courtesy of the EMC

Smiths Falls, ON –  The Perth and Smiths Falls District hospital began distributing its allotment of H1N1 vaccine to its staff recently.  Linda Bisonette, Vice President, Patient Care & Chief Nursing Officer, indicated that, “There has been an enthusiastic turn-out by hospital personnel and physicians.”  She went on to indicate that while getting the vaccine is not mandatory, “it is strongly recommended.”  To date, approximately 674 immunizations to physicians, staff and hospital volunteers have been distributed.  This equates to approximately 75% of hospital staff. A higher percentage of physicians, to date, have also received the vaccine.  The hospital continues to provide the vaccine to physicians, staff and volunteers.  The H1N1 vaccine is the first line of defence as far as protecting staff, patients and their families from getting the H1N1.

Todd Stepanuik, President & CEO, stated, “Protecting our patients and employees is the main priority for PSFDH.  Providing the H1N1 vaccine to our valued healthcare practitioners so they can take care of the patient population is our number one priority.”  This has allowed the hospital to be in the best possible position to serve the public throughout the duration of this pandemic.  “We want to be sure that our health care personnel are able to safely care for patients during what is projected to be extremely busy flu season,”  said Linda Bisonette.  The hospital greatly appreciates the continued unwavering professionalism, dedication and commitment that has been demonstrated during these recent times by all hospital staff members and physicians.

The Occupational Health Department of the hospital has worked diligently for months to prepare and implement the H1N1 vaccination and treatment program.  Occupational Health, Pharmacy and Infection Control personnel have worked in close collaboration to ensure the staff are provided immunization, personal protection and medical treatment, if required.  The hospital’s plan has been very well received by staff and has proven to be successful in maintaining the hospital’s business continuity plan – which is the provision of healthcare to the community.

The hospital has been a leader and key partner with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit and the community health centres in Smiths Falls and Lanark.  The hospital has been requested by the Health Unit to render assistance in the immunization strategy for health care workers and, as a result, the hospital has agreed to dispense H1N1 vaccine for health care personnel from community health centres and ambulance services.

For more information contact:
www.psfdh.on.ca
Linda Bisonette
VP Patient Care and CNO
Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
613-283-2330 ext:1110

Update on H1N1 Activities – Community Flu Assessment Centres Open

Smiths Falls, ON –  There has been a marked increase in the numbers of persons attending the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital’s Emergency Departments over the past 10-14 days.  “We greatly appreciate the public’s understanding and patience during this current period of high activity in our emergency departments” said Linda Bisonette, Vice President, Patient Care and CNO.

These last number of days have seen a significant increase in the use of the Emergency Department in large part because of increased patients presenting with flu-like symptoms. The Emergency Departments in Perth and Smiths Falls want to ensure that they are in a position to serve the seriously ill patients who require emergency services.  “The Hospital has asked the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Anne Carter to set up flu assessment centres at the North Lanark Community Health Centre and the Smiths Falls Community Health Centre (CHC)” said Ms. Bisonette.

The centres have been approved by Dr. Carter with the Smiths Falls Centre beginning operations on Friday, October 30, 2009.  The hours of operation at the Smiths Falls Site will be seven (7) days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.. The hours of operation at the North Lanark Site will be 9 a.m. to noon and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on weekends. Changes to times will be determined by the Community Health Centres in consultation with the local hospital emergency directors and the Hospital’s influenza planning coordinator.  and the North Lanark Centre preparing to open on Monday

The Flu Assessment Centre at the North Lanark CHC will be open to all presenting with flu-like symptoms, primarily from Perth and North Lanark CHC catchment areas, representing the west and north portions of Lanark County while the Flu Assessment Centre in Smiths Falls will be open to all residents of Smiths Falls and surrounding area.  “The opening of the clinics is an effort to handle high volumes of patients who want to know if they have got H1N1 influenza as well as divert non-urgent cases away from our emergency departments” said Todd Stepanuik, President & CEO.

The Hospital pandemic planning team, physicians and staff have been planning for this event for a number of years and have been working in collaboration with community partners for a number of months.  This level of cooperation and mutual support have proven invaluable as we work together to ensure timely, quality care for our entire catchment area.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, please contact your family doctor’s office or call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.  If you do not have a family doctor or if you are unable to access your family doctor due to high demand, proceed to the nearest community flu assessment clinic.

Outpatients and visitors to the hospital will notice magazines have been removed from waiting areas to help prevent the spread of infection.

For more information contact:
www.psfdh.on.ca
Linda Bisonette
VP Patient Care and CNO
Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
613-283-2330 ext:1110

Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital – Preparing for pH1N1 Influenza

Smiths Falls, ON

Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital, like most healthcare facilities, is seeing an increase in the number of patients who are suffering from influenza like illness.  In collaboration with community partners, the Hospital has been diligent in planning for this pandemic response.  The Influenza A strain that is being seen and will likely to be seen during the course of the next few weeks in our area will be pH1N1. Evidence indicates that pH1N1 has been seen to date as a mild pandemic strain. It is a respiratory illness that causes symptoms similar to those of seasonal influenza. Influenza, however, still remains a serious illness. As such all Ontario healthcare providers are maintaining vigilance, actively preventing, and planning for early treatment when patients present to hospital, their family doctor or community assessment centres. Along with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Public Health Unit we encourage all patients to self screen at home for influenza like illness using the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care self-assessment tools available on line at www.ontario.ca/flu or www.fightflu.ca

The best way to protect yourself and stop the spread of the virus is frequent handwashing, covering your cough or sneezes with your sleeve, disinfecting surfaces and commonly used items, staying home if you are sick unless you are seeking medical treatment and taking advantage of immunization programs. Influenza like symptoms include the sudden onset of a fever of more than 38o and a new or worsening cough, sore throat, fatigue or aching muscles and/or joints. If your symptoms worsen, contact your healthcare provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Adults and children with underlying medical conditions, children under the age of 5 years, and pregnant women who develop symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

The hospital is asking that you not visit friends or family in the hospital if you are ill and that you limit visitation when at all possible to 2 persons per in-patient and a maximum of one person to accompany patients to the Emergency Department.  As the situation changes, the Hospital may have to fully restrict visitation except in palliative care situations.

Information about our community response to pandemic influenza can be found on the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark website at www.healthunit.org . The hospital website has a direct link to the Public Health Agency of Canada at www.psfdh.on.ca .

For more information contact:

Linda Bisonette
VP Patient Care Services, CNE
Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
613-283-2330 ext:1110
lbisonette@psfdh.on.ca
www.psfdh.on.ca

Great War Memorial Site
33 Drummond Street West
Perth, ON K7H 2K1
Tel: (613) 267-1500
Smiths Falls Site
60 Cornelia Street West
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2H9
Tel: (613) 283-2330

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