Rapid Assessment Zone / Rapid Assessment Fast Track Unit
All Emergency Departments treat patients with varying degrees of severity. Like all other hospitals in Ontario, Halton Healthcare Services (HHS) hospitals follow the five level Canadian Emergency Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) to categorize patients. This helps determine the maximum interval of time that should lapse between the patient’s arrival, initial triage assessment and ongoing re-assessment. This standardized assessment tool is based on five levels where level one includes the most critically ill with life or limb threatening conditions while level five - on the other end of the continuum - includes the least urgent cases such as prescription renewals.
The following initiatives have been implemented during known higher volume periods at the hospitals to help improve patient flow through the ED and access to care at all three of our hospitals and are aligned with the Ministry of Health’s ED Wait Time Strategy. HHS has a combined Rapid Assessment and Fast Track Unit - otherwise known as RAFT at Georgetown Hospital (GH) and Milton District Hospital (MDH) and a Rapid Assessment Zone or RAZ, to complement its existing Fast Track Unit, at Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH). These specialized areas focus on timely treatment that corresponds with the patients’ acuity levels and is a strategy which allows us to reorganize workflow and expedite care more efficiently. Both RAFT units at MDH and GH run at peak times and have a dedicated ED physician and nurse.
OTMH’s RAZ unit is for those mid-acuity ambulatory patients (predominantly CTAS 3 patients and select CTAS 2 patients) whose needs are beyond that of the Fast Track area. The RAZ operates in a distinct area with dedicated staff and internal areas with chairs for waiting closer to the treatment space. The RAZ helps expedite the care and treatment of patients by facilitating intensive early intervention such as blood work, intravenous therapy or an ultrasound test in order to provide safe, timely patient care. It has been effective in helping us meet the goal of reducing the patients’ length of stay target of less than 6-hours from triage to discharge.
OTMH’s Fast Track sees and treats patients of lower acuity (predominantly CTAS Level 4 & 5 patients) and has an expected overall length of stay from Triage to Discharge of 4 hours. It is our goal to keep you informed during extremely busy periods when we don’t believe we will be able to meet our targets.