Local health care partners are sharing information for better care, thanks to a new pilot project led by the Champlain Alliance of Small Hospitals (CAsH). Community support services say the enhanced communication will make a difference for clients in the region, as well as for their own staff and volunteers.
When a patient comes to the Emergency Department or is admitted to the hospital, care providers need vital information, including what care that patient may be receiving at home. Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) links with the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) and the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) to ensure that admission information is automatically shared between the hospital information system and the CCAC database.
Now that dialogue is being extended to local health partners. As part of the pilot project, the ArnpriorBraeside-McNab Seniors at Home Program is also connected though the Champlain Community Support (CSS) system.
The CCAC and CSS agencies are notified when a client is admitted to the Emergency Department. The hospital then receives notification if the client is currently receiving CCAC services. Finally, notification is sent to the CCAC when a patient is discharged, to ensure follow-up and the resumption of services. A similar process occurs with the Seniors at Home Program.
“Health Quality Ontario has identified transitions in care as being a great opportunity to ensure an improved patient experience. This ‘e-connection’ with both the CCAC and Home Support will ultimately result in a better patient experience and potentially reduce readmissions to hospitals and shorten length of stay,” notes Eric Hanna, ARH CEO. “We are excited to be the first hospital to connect with a local community partner through the e-notification program.” “We wanted to work with Arnprior Regional Health to use communication to better our services and this makes sense,” agrees Dennis Harrington, Executive Director of the Arnprior-Braeside-McNab Seniors at Home Program. “We are very pleased with the format and the timely arrival of information. And this will be beneficial to many more agencies in the future.”
“The Champlain CCAC is proud to partner with local hospitals to improve transitions of care. The eNotification project highlights the value of enhanced integration in driving a better care experience for patients and their families,” adds Marc Sougavinski, CEO, Champlain Community Care Access Centre.
The new program offers many benefits. Emergency physicians are able to make care decisions with more information at hand. For example, a physician may be able to avoid admitting a patient or possibly discharge a patient earlier, knowing that there are CCAC or community supports in place at home.
Likewise, the CCAC and local community agencies are now advised when clients have had a hospital visit, allowing them to plan their services more efficiently. Having this knowledge means that service providers are able to suspend or cancel services as required. They no longer arrive at a client’s door unaware of the change and wondering if something has happened. This is particularly useful for volunteer-driven organizations with limited resources.
To date, Arnprior Regional Health, Kemptville District Hospital and Renfrew Victoria Hospital are on board with the e-notification program with the CCAC, with one local CSS agency connected so far. Plans are underway to add other agencies in the future. Currently, the majority of community support agencies are on the same client information system, which will make it easier to add them. Data is transferred in a secure format to protect patient privacy.
ABOUT the Champlain Alliance of Small Hospitals (CAsH)
This initiative is one of several IT integration projects led by the Champlain Alliance of Small Hospitals (CAsH). Enhanced integration will result in an improved patient experience, better care and cost effective service delivery. Our vision is to develop innovative rural health delivery options and to advocate for strengthened rural health. CAsH includes eight member hospitals: Almonte General Hospital, Arnprior Regional Health, Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital, Deep River and District Hospital, Glengarry Memorial Hospital, Kemptville District Hospital, Renfrew Victoria Hospital and St. Francis Memorial Hospital.
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