The Right Care and the Right Time in the Right Place
When we need care, we would like to be confident that we can receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place. If we as a health care system do not “get it right the first time” it only creates inefficiency, but more importantly a poor experience.
At Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) we are undertaking a number of strategies to “get it right the first time”; below I am highlighting a few of them.
- Post Discharge Phone Calls – Every month we make close to 100 calls to patients who have been discharged from our medical inpatient unit. We want to make sure they transitioned home ok. When we ask them about taking their medications, and having a follow up visit with their doctor, we do this knowing it will reduce the likelihood of their having to be readmitted to the hospital.
- Home First – For some of us we will need to go to a long-term care facility when we are not able to remain independent at home. In the past we were too fast in making this transition directly from a hospital to a nursing home. Now, working with the Community Care Access Centre, patients are able to receive additional enhanced home services to allow them to go home directly from the hospital.
- Outreach Programs – We offer a number of programs at the hospital site of ARH that enable our local residents to receive care at home versus the drive to Ottawa. For example, telehealth services include access to specialists such as neurology and clinical oncology. In addition, there are more than 20 specialists visiting our hospital including paediatric, dermatology, hematology, and psychiatry.
- Community Programs – ARH has two key community programs – the adult day program and assisted living services. Both of these programs provide support and care to enable these seniors to stay at home with as much independence as possible. Both programs have increased in capacity over the past few years through additional funding from the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
Looking forward we see additional opportunities to ensure the right care, at the right place, at the right time. For example, the following potential changes are being investigated:
- There are a significant number of day surgery cases performed in Ottawa on our residents. Some of these surgeries are within our scope of practice and could be safely performed here at ARH. We are in discussions with other health care providers about providing more services here (services such as Urology).
- We know that a large number of seniors in our community are often only able to receive nursing home services in other communities such as Almonte and Renfrew. Both of these communities have more nursing home beds than Arnprior, yet their communities are the same size. In fact both Renfrew and Almonte have more than double the number of nursing home beds than we have at the Grove. Our Board of Directors and the LHIN are aware of this significant discrepancy and are investigating opportunities to expand the Grove during the pending redevelopment.
- We have recently undertaken the role of project sponsor for health links for our community along with residents in Kanata and Stittsville. This project uses limited new funding to help coordinate the care of our most complex patients. We know that the top 5% of our most complex patients consume more than 60% of our health care resources. Health links will help to ensure these complex patients receive the appropriate care in a more coordinated way.
The Board of Arnprior Regional Health is responding to the challenge of ensuring the right care, at the right time, in the right place. Our Directors are asking ….
- Do we have too many people using the emergency department that should be using other services?
- Do we have the right partnerships with other health care providers to ensure our community has access to care?
- Are we deploying the ARH resources where our community needs them most?
Change was once episodic, now change is constant. ARH will continue to make changes to ensure that our community receives the right care, at the right time, in the right place.