Nova Scotia health minister announces measures to improve care amid ER deaths | FULL

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Nova Scotia Health Minister Michelle Thompson and provincial health authority CEO Karen Oldfield announced actions to improve care in emergency departments across the province on Wednesday.

Among the changes include assigning nurse practitioners and physician assistants in ERs, and teams led by doctors focused on getting patients out of ambulances and into ERs faster.

The province will also make virtual care available to more patients with less urgent needs, and will provide health teams with real-time data on available beds across the system. Real-time data will also let healthcare teams see what tests are needed to get patients home quicker.

The call for changes came amid public concern over the recent deaths of two patients after lengthy waits in Nova Scotia ERs — many of which are overcrowded and understaffed. On Tuesday, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston and Thompson hosted a summit of health-care partners.

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