The Future of Emergency Medicine at HRH: How Virtual Queuing Will Improve Care


February 12, 2024
Apotex Emergency Department

The Apotex Emergency Department is one of the busiest emergency departments in all of Canada.

Humber River Health, home to one of the busiest emergency departments in the country, faces a common challenge shared by hospitals across Canada: a crowded emergency room and extended wait times for non-urgent medical care.

This issue is especially pronounced at Humber’s Apotex Emergency Department, which sees an influx of patients without access to primary care. In our community, a mere 12.2% of the local population is enrolled with a family practitioner, which is significantly lower than the provincial average of 23.3%.

To address these urgent challenges and enhance healthcare resource management, Humber River Health is taking the lead with an AI-Enabled Virtual Queue Management Application—a patient-facing app and a staff-facing dashboard that will help patients receive the appropriate care at the appropriate time.

Apotex Emergency Department

Our AI-Enabled Virtual Queue Management Application will provide patients with an accurately predicted arrival time at the ED for immediate care.

With this critical innovation, our Apotex Emergency Department could improve patient flow by advising the patient before they arrive whether they should come right now, come at a pre-arranged time later in the day, visit with a physician or nurse practitioner online or redirect the patient back to their primary care provider.

 

This innovative solution coming to our Apotex Emergency Department has secured a commitment of $1.5 million from Scale AI, a federal government incubator funding AI projects in support of better healthcare for Canadians.

Scale AI’s technology promises numerous benefits for Humber’s Apotex Emergency Department:

  • Patients will be empowered with the flexibility to wait more comfortably at home. The system will provide them with an accurately predicted arrival time at the ED for immediate care, helping them avoid lengthy waits in the Hospital alongside other sick patients
  • Our ED will be able to optimize resource allocation, reducing operational costs and enhancing overall efficiency
  • A controlled flow of patients will reduce stress on ED physicians and staff, enabling them to focus on critical cases

 

Two Staff Members in the Apotex Emergency Department

Next steps to implementing our AI-Enabled Virtual Queue Management Application include the funding of pivotal research measuring the benefits of virtual queuing at Humber River.

Our next steps include the funding of pivotal research measuring the benefits of virtual queuing at Humber River.

These research initiatives will be instrumental in shedding light on several critical aspects of this project. Their focus pertains to understanding existing AI tools, analyzing patient demographics, and evaluating quality metrics to ensure a robust and unbiased implementation of this innovative healthcare solution.

The implementation of Scale AI’s technologies will begin upon the completion of the first wave of our ground-breaking research, at which point the Research Institute will transition into the evaluation stage. This phase encompasses ten studies and is expected to extend over approximately 2 to 2.5 years.

 

Join us in support of this critical work as we highlight the Apotex Emergency Department at this year’s River Ball on May 2!

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Let’s Start Making an Impact

To learn more about how you can make a difference in bringing this project to life, please contact Caterina Magisano at cmagisano@hrh.ca