Emergency department is safe, available for patients

Markham Stouffville Hospital’s Emergency Department is open, safe and available for patients who need urgent care.

For MSH’s Chief of Emergency Medicine Dr. Andrew Arcand, the quiet of the Emergency Department (ED) these days is not something he’s used to – or comfortable with.

Over the last few weeks, Arcand and his colleagues have noticed a decrease in ED visits. This has the team worried that people are not coming due to fears they may be exposed to the COVID-19 virus, or that hospital capacity should be reserved for COVID-19 patients.

Arcand has a simple message for anyone concerned with either of these issues: “Don’t be afraid and don’t wait. The ED at MSH is open, safe and available for those who need immediate care.”

“If you or a loved one has a serious medical concern, please come to our Emergency Department,” he says. “Our interprofessional team of doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers want to make sure you get the acute care you need early on, to prevent significant health risks in the future.”

To ensure the safety of everyone who comes through the doors of the ED, MSH has additional infection control measures in place to protect vulnerable patients and minimize the risk. This includes:
• Screeners at the entrance asking everyone to wash their hands and put on a mask.
• Limited support people entering the building.
• Requirement for everyone who enters the building to wear a mask at all times.
• Routine infection control and measures such as requirement for everyone to wash their hands often.
• Expanded cleaning of high touch surfaces to ensure a safe environment.
• Social distancing in waiting rooms.
• Dedicated and separate spaces to provide care for patients.

Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, Dr. Arcand stresses patients can and should continue to seek medical care.

“Our ED will always be there to take care of anyone in our community who requires urgent medical attention and acute care,” adds Arcand.

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