As of Sept. 13, 103 patients are occupying acute care beds at the hospital's Ramsey Lake Health Centre site. On top of that, there are 30 patients in the ALC unit at the Sudbury Outpatient Centre site.
This is the highest number of ALC patients the hospital has experienced so far this year.
Dave McNeil, Health Sciences North's vice-president of clinical programs and chief nursing officer, told Northern Life last month that the number of ALC patients at the hospital has been gradually increasing during 20102.
The lowest number of ALC patients at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre this year was in January, when there were 43.
When there's a lot of ALC patients, the emergency room's operations are hindered, as they can't move patients from their area into inpatient beds. As of Sept. 13, there were 28 admitted patients waiting for inpatient beds in the emergency room.
“If you're trying to flow patients through the emergency department where you do have much of your capacity blocked, it becomes much more difficult for you to actually achieve the wait time targets,” McNeil said in August.
“There's just a lot more inpatients waiting within the emergency department, which diverts staff resources toward the care for those patients that reside in the emergency department, waiting for a bed. Also, it impacts access to the availability of treatment spaces.”
High numbers of ALC patients can also cause surgery cancellations because there aren't enough beds for patients to recover in; however, there haven't been any cancelled surgeries so far this week.