Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) Emergency Department (ED) is making it easier for patients with minor cold and flu symptoms to receive care through its highly successful minor injury online booking system and new Pink Zone treatment area starting Thursday, September 28. Patients will be able to book next day appointments as of Wednesday, September 27 through the online booking portal.
To decrease overall wait times for patients and prevent ED overcrowding at the busiest times, RVH piloted a program this past summer that diverted patients with a minor ailment such as a sprain, strain, or potential simple fracture to an arm or leg from the ED to booked same or next day appointments.
With the fall here and rates of flu, cold and respiratory illnesses like RSV and COVID expected to rise, RVH is making patients with those symptoms eligible to use the booking system.
In addition, pre-booked patients will bypass the Emergency department entrance and triage area altogether. Patients are instructed to enter the health centre via the Atrium entrance and follow the pink wayfinding signs to the Pink Zone registration and treatment area where they will be seen by ED medical staff.
“We are always looking for ways to support our community and improve the patient experience,” says Sharon Ramagnano, RVH Operations Director, Emergency, Critical Care & Trauma. “Our COVID, Cold and Flu Care Clinic was very well received last year, so we are pleased be able to add those services to our booking system at a key time of year where patient volumes increase in the Emergency Department with respiratory illnesses.”
Patients can book next and same day appointments Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The booking link can be found on the RVH website (rvh.on.ca) under Emergency Department or click here.
Patients are always encouraged to seek care from their primary care provider first; however, outside of the ED Minor Conditions Booking Portal you can also call 8-1-1, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or consider a local walk-in clinic.