Horizon prepares summer operational plan

HORIZON – With the arrival of summer, Horizon remains committed to maintaining as many programs and services as possible while supporting our physicians and employees who are scheduled to take well-deserved vacations.

Although we continue to be severely challenged by staffing shortages across our organization, Horizon has developed and implemented improved processes that provide additional flexibility to reassign staff to areas of need quickly and efficiently.

We are not forecasting substantial service impacts in our clinical and community settings this summer, however, staffing situations do change quickly when factoring in sick leaves, resignations and retirements.

Any change in service will be communicated to the public in advance, with relevant information about the situation posted on the Horizon website.

Service changes may include reducing the number of available inpatient beds, as well as the number of elective surgeries taking place in our hospitals in response to fluctuating staffing numbers.

Horizon’s Emergency Departments continue to be regularly impacted by physician and nursing shortages.

Horizon continues to ask the public for their cooperation by reserving the Emergency Department for urgent/emergency medical issues and seeking care for non-urgent issues through their primary care provider, a walk-in clinic, calling Tele-Care 811, booking an appointment through eVisitNB or consulting with a pharmacist.

We are working hard to improve the patient experience in our Emergency Departments and are in the process of implementing a number of improvements aimed at optimizing patient flow in the department, while reducing wait times and ambulance offload delays.

One area that will not slow down over the summer months is our recruitment efforts.

Our expanded talent acquisition teams are continuously engaged with candidates as we work to recruit more physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to Horizon with the goal of retaining their services for the long-term.

Horizon recently launched the Horizon Referral Rewards, a new referral program that offers a financial incentive for those who help connect our recruiters to successful candidates.

Getting quality referrals, and ultimately new quality hires, supports our health care teams in providing quality care to our patients every day. This program introduces a new talent stream that is expected to increase the number of potential candidates and support recruitment efforts to achieve workforce sustainability.

Additionally, we continue to offer incentives for nurses who accept permanent, hard-to-recruit positions with a three-year commitment.

We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding as we work to provide our employees with time off this summer while ensuring the continuation of safe, timely access to health care services.

Horizon is grateful for the contributions of all staff during these challenging times, and understands how difficult the pandemic has been on so many.

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For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations