With provincial funding recently approved for the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) to add temporary beds to respond to increased patient demand through the flu season, the HPHA has partnered with local Long-Term Care Homes to assist.
“Instead of simply adding beds to our hospitals, we reached out to local Long-Term Care facilities to see if they had capacity to admit appropriate individuals into “non-funded” beds,” says Andrew Williams, HPHA President and CEO.
On any given day across the HPHA, which includes hospital sites in Clinton, St. Marys, Seaforth and Stratford, approximately 15 patients are in hospital beds on waiting lists for Long-Term Care. As a result, other patients in need of access to acute care beds are often admitted elsewhere in the organization, including into Emergency Departments. While the HPHA Team provides the very best care possible, treating and supporting patients in the environment most appropriate for their needs is a priority and this initiative helps address this reality.
With the support of the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), approval has been granted to access up to 10 of these non-funded Long-Term Care Beds over the duration of the provincial funding, which is expected to last through to the end of March.
“This solution is the type the LHIN is working hard to support,” saysRenato Discenza, CEO of the South West LHIN. “It is focused on getting the patient to the best place for care, it is supporting local solutions that work for the community, it takes a system approach that enhances capacity and it is responsible to taxpayers' investments in healthcare. HPHA is working to meet these multiple aims with this approach.”
“Three key benefits will come from these partnerships,” adds Williams. “First and foremost, patients will be in the best locations for their care needs. Secondly, better value for money will be realized as costs in Long-Term Care are lower than in hospitals. Finally, by not adding beds to our hospitals, we avoid unnecessary competition for staff.”
Jeff Renaud, Administrator of Ritz Lutheran Villa/Mitchell Nursing Home where upwards of five patients will be transferred reinforced the importance of this type of relationship when providing high quality care.
“This initiative reinforces the already strong partnerships that exist between the HPHA and Ritz Lutheran Villa whilst greatly improving patient flow across our local healthcare system,” says Renaud.
The program will be evaluated on its completion in March to see if further opportunities exist.