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High Performer - AHP Report on Giving 2015






The sickest person in the hospital could be the one sitting in the waiting room.

My 75-year-old patient shifts uncomfortably on the bed, trying her best not to cry.

A bad fall on an icy sidewalk has brought her to PRHC’s Emergency Department (ED) with a sore arm. I’m fairly sure it’s broken, but we’ll do x-rays to be absolutely certain.

Meanwhile, in the next room, a man has just come back from having x-rays taken. His chest images confirm my suspicions. He has congestive heart failure and needs immediate treatment.

I’m concerned about both of these patients and committed to giving them the best care possible. But I’m also thinking about the patients sitting in the waiting room – the ones we haven’t seen yet. You see, a life-threatening illness isn’t always obvious.

I’m Dr. Mark Troughton, and as an emergency physician at PRHC, one of the most important parts of my job is to identify the most critically ill and injured people in the ED. Diagnostic imaging is central to my ability to do that. We depend on being able to access imaging equipment, particularly x-rays, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The volumes are enormous. On a typical day, I personally might see 40 patients and send at least half of them for an x-ray. Across our department, that adds up to 23,400 x-ray exams last year alone. That’s why we have two trauma suites dedicated to providing x-rays for Emergency patients – to make sure that when you or your family and friends come to PRHC in a crisis, the expert care you need will be ready and waiting.

But our trauma suites are nearing the end of their lifespan. When older technology starts to break down, it causes delays in patient diagnosis and treatment. We can’t afford to let this happen – not in a department with patients in urgent need, when minutes or even seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

I’m sincerely grateful for the generosity of our donors and the key role you play in bringing the latest technology to our hospital. And I hope I can count on you again to invest in equipment we rely on every hour of every day, especially in the busy winter months.

Your special gift today will help bring the latest x-ray technology to PRHC. We need your support to continue to provide world-class emergency care right here at home, so you and your loved ones don’t have to travel far when you need help.

PRHC has one of the busiest Emergency Departments in Ontario, with more than 83,000 patient visits last year alone. In fact, as Chief of Emergency Medicine, I can tell you that our annual volumes are higher than St. Michael’s Hospital, UHN Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

With so many people from across our region turning to us for urgent care for everything from broken hips and collapsed lungs to heart attacks, the flu and other life-threatening illnesses, we need our imaging equipment to be in top working order so that my colleagues and I can diagnose your family, friends and neighbours quickly and effectively.

That’s why replacing and upgrading our trauma suites is critical this year. The faster we can diagnose a patient, the faster they can get the treatment they urgently need, and we can move on to help the next person.

Just like our cell phones and computers, x-ray technology has improved a lot in the last decade, getting smaller, faster and more portable. In fact, some parts of the new machines will be wireless, so radiologists can position the equipment to suit the patient’s injuries. This means less moving and repositioning for the patient, significantly reducing their pain and discomfort.

These upgrades will allow our radiologists to provide higher-quality images and more accurate results more quickly, helping my colleagues and me make better diagnoses and provide the best care to you and your loved ones.

My first priority as a physician is to help you get treatment as quickly as possible so you can go home to rest and recover. But what many people don’t realize is government funding covers only part of what hospitals need to meet today’s best practices in patient care. To do that, we need your help.

Please send your special gift today, and help fund the equipment we depend on to give our patients the excellent care they urgently need and deserve. Thanks to your generosity, I can tell my patients we provide world-class care right here in Peterborough.

With best wishes for a safe and healthy winter season,

Dr. Mark Troughton
Chief of Emergency Medicine
Peterborough Regional Health Centre

P.S. PRHC is there when you’re seeking answers, treatment, relief from pain, or comfort in the face of a health crisis. Now we’re depending on your dedicated support. Please send your special gift today so we can continue providing you with the best possible emergency care when you need it most.