Alberta Health Services (AHS) presented to the Town of Strathmore during the April 19 regular meeting of council, discussing the impact of recent local operational changes. 

Associate Executive Director, Tony Pasich explained the most recent data made available from March suggested response times have improved. Their 90th percentile response time for D&E calls (“life or limb situations) was 12 minutes and four seconds. 

In the last seven years overall, response times have nearly doubled, from just under 11 minutes, to over 20 minutes in the year to date. According to Pasich, AHS will be monitoring its response data to evaluate whether the March data was an anomaly. 

“Our goal is to make sure that we are well within a 15-minute target, which, when we look at (our data) … why can’t we get back down to 10 minutes. That would really be our goal,” said Pasich. “Having assembled crews, we have seen our shoot times in Strathmore come way down and responding within 90 to 120 seconds, versus being on call at home. January and February were not as good as we would have liked, so we will continue to monitor (our) response times.”

Service in Strathmore saw a shift in the last year, as local ambulances shifted from serving Calgary 44 per cent of the time between 2021 and 2022, to just 17 per cent of the time between 2022 and presently, following the implementation of the Metro Response Plan.

Service to local communities in Strathmore increased from 36 per cent to 47 per cent of the time. Similarly, responses to calls in Wheatland County and Siksika Nation also increased.

Pasich also cited AHS now maintains a 45-minute offload target goal. He explained this means an ambulance crew aims to have a patient delivered to hospital, and is able to respond to another call within a 45-minute window. 

“Prior to the launch of (our 45-minute target), we would be (at a hospital) for three hours and 20 minutes. We are not at our target, but we are at about an hour, (plus) 10 to 20 minutes,” he said. “We still have a ways to go there, but when you look at the difference between an hour and 10 minutes to three hours and 20 minutes, it is massive.”

Another service improvement which was discussed during the presentation was the immediate reduction of “code red” times, which references occasions when no ambulances are locally available.

The difference, he explained being a reduction in time from potentially several hours during a day, to just 10 minutes. 

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 04, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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