MRI wait times the pride of Cornwall hospital

MRI wait times the pride of Cornwall hospital
Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH)

By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario -A healthy wait time performance review has the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) boasting about its services.

The acute care, teaching hospital with 137 beds, and an emergency department that sees over 60,000 visits per year has the shortest wait for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the province, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.

Data shows nine out of ten patients have their MRI procedures completed within 17 days in Cornwall, in sharp contrast to the provincial average of 83 days.

A CCH statement said from April 2013 to Nov. 2014, the Diagnostic Centre of Excellence had performed over 5,000 MRI scans with a mean distribution of 280 per month.

“Having to book any hospital procedure can be a nervous time in someone’s life,” said Jennifer Barkley, director of diagnostic services.

“Being able to perform the scans locally and as soon as possible can alleviate some of that stress as the patient knows their results will be returned earlier and they can progress with their plan of care.”

Meanwhile, CCH patients typically have to wait 37 days to have their computerized tomography (CT) scans, three days longer than the provincial average of 34 days.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), an online performance monitor that tracks and gauges the hospital’s progress, CCH has improved its hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR), or number of deaths, to be below the national and provincial averages.

CCH comes in at a 76 on the HSMR scale. A ratio lower than 100 means that a hospital is performing better than the average.

“Knowing the data makes a huge difference. If you measure it, you can manage it,” said Judy Kyte, patient safety coordinator.

“We need to know how safe we are and how we compare to other hospitals of a similar size. Front and centre on our corporate scorecard of quality and safety indicators is HSMR and we are glad to see that our efforts are affecting healthy change.”

Shaun McDonald, CCH coordinator of public and corporate communication, said the hospital’s emergency department wait times for complex conditions continue to be lower than the average set by Ontario hospitals, and infection control rates remain among the lowest in the region.

“Despite introducing new technology and services, these figures reveal that the hospital has actually become a safer place to go for treatment,” added McDonald.

For more information, visit, or CIHI’s web tool at

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