Langley hospital comes off well in Canada-wide comparison

New website shows LMH meets or exceeds Canadian averages, but numbers for ER wait times are missing

Langley Memorial Hospital meets or exceeds Canadian averages for quality of health care, a new online comparison shows.

However, a Times review of the site found some information is missing, namely the average amount of time ER patients must spend waiting to see a doctor at LMH.

The web page was launched on Sept. 18 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), a non-profit agency created by the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Attempts to obtain the stats for “Emergency Wait Time for Physician Assessment” for Langley Memorial Hospital from the web page found a non-functioning link.

A follow-up search for wait times generally in Langley was automatically redirected to figures for the Fraser Health Authority, which operates LMH and 11 other acute care hospitals south of the Fraser.

Those numbers show the average ER wait time for hospitals in Fraser Health was worse than the B.C. average but better than the Canadian average.

The Times has requested the specific figures for the average ER wait time at LMH from CIHI.

The newspaper also asked Fraser Health for the figures. At press time there had been no response.

However, the CIHI website notes that only Ontario and Alberta have provided complete numbers for ER wait times in those provinces, while B.C. and jurisdictions in the rest of Canada have only provided partial or “incomplete” numbers.

Based on hospital-provided statistics, the figures show LMH matched or exceeded Canadian averages in various categories such as wait times for hip surgery, prevention of infection, and readmissions, where patients return to hospital following a procedure.

The numbers show the hospital runs at maximum capacity, with a 99.4 per cent occupancy rate. More than half the patients at LMH, 56.9 per cent, arrive through the ER.

The average length of a hospital stay at LMH is 6.9 days.

The average cost of a stay at LMH is well below the Canadian average of $5,567 at $4,585.

The CIHI page can be viewed by going to yourhealthsystem.cihi.ca and clicking on the “Your Health System” link.

The future direction of the Langley hospital is being reviewed by Fraser Health as part of an overall “master site planning process” expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Andy Libbiter, the interim director of mental health and substance use for the authority, recently told Langley Township council the physical age of the structure is something that will be discussed.

“We’ve got a 50-year-old tower there,” Libbiter said, “[we need to ask] how long is it going to last?”

The South Tower of LMH opened March 4, 1965.

Libbiter called LMH “a really excellent community hospital.”

A Fraser Health report projects Langley’s population will grow by 62 per cent over the next 20 years, more than double the projected B.C. growth rate of 26 per cent.

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