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A Letter from Burnaby Hospital’s Dr. Richard Trawick

A Letter from Burnaby Hospital’s Dr. Richard Trawick

June 06, 2024

As an Emergency Physician, I was drawn to Burnaby Hospital because ours is a community hospital in the truest sense, with an Emergency Department (ED) that is dedicated to serving the needs of our diverse community.

The team in our Emergency Department is exceptional. In addition to the critical, life-saving work we do, we also focus on follow-up care and connecting our patients to available community resources. Our compassionate and thorough approach to patient care makes our ED stand out by ensuring our patients receive the best care available to them.

However, as fewer people in our community have access to primary care, we are seeing both an increase in the number of people accessing primary care through the ED and an increase in hospitalizations from the effects of chronic diseases.

Caring for these additional patient loads in our limited space puts extra pressure on our compassionate healthcare teams.

Our ED has not had a significant upgrade in many years. We are currently serving an average of 200 patients per day (sometimes up to 270 per day) in a space designed to serve only 148 patients per day. This number is expected to grow to 330 per day by 2035.

With our increased volume, the expansion of our Emergency Department is crucial and it will make a substantial difference in the way we deliver emergency care. I am sure you can appreciate why it is so important that we raise the funds we need to make the expansion of our Emergency Department a reality.

As our team in the Emergency Department eagerly awaits the redevelopment, we are constantly revamping our processes to improve the flow of treatment to facilitate the best care possible in the small space we have to work with.

Triage — a process often performed by triage nurses — is the prioritization of injured or sick individuals based on their need for emergency treatment. In an innovative move, we have added a physician to our triage team to ensure sick patients are seen sooner, necessary medical tests are ordered upfront, and patients spend less time waiting. The triage physician in some instances can take care of their needs quickly and efficiently with a prescription or a referral, thereby reducing their time spent in our waiting rooms.

We have also revamped the way we see patients to improve flow in our Emergency Department Zone 2, which provides emergency care for stable patients with acute medical illnesses. This is the most congested part of the department and the changes we implemented allow us to see more patients in the limited space that we have.

The redevelopment of Burnaby Hospital provides us with a vital opportunity to upgrade our ED with the space and resources required to treat the healthcare needs of our entire community.

Once the redevelopment is complete, our Emergency Department will have over 10,000 square feet of increased space and 30% more treatment bays — a drastically needed increase in capacity to match the growing size of our community.

Right now, Burnaby’s own Beedie family is matching all donations, providing you with an incredible opportunity to make your gift go twice as far. When you give what you can today, every dollar you give to the redevelopment of our beloved community hospital — and the Emergency Department — will be doubled.

Please take the time today to give what you can so that we can provide you, your loved ones and your neighbours with an Emergency Department that has the space and the equipment our team needs to provide our community with the best emergency care possible.

No one knows when they will need a trip to the Emergency Department. Everyone wants the best possible facilities and equipment available to them and their loved ones when they arrive here.

The gift you give today will be doubled, and it may turn out to be the gift of life for yourself or someone you love tomorrow.

– Dr. Richard Trawick, MD, CCFP(EM), MBA, MA Department Head, Emergency Department