(Wednesday, January 31, 2024, Muskoka, ON) – Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare and Closing the Gap Healthcare, in partnership with the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team, are thrilled to celebrate the success of a collaborative Hospital-to-Home Program that in its first year has positively impacted more than 65 patients locally.
February 1, 2024, marks a one-year milestone since the first two patients were discharged from the hospital into the Hospital to Home program, an initiative that aims to support patients and their caregivers to safely transition home from hospital.
Through this unique community-based partnership between Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare and Closing the Gap Healthcare, the Hospital to Home program team works directly with discharged hospital patients to make their first weeks at home as easy and as successful as possible by developing a care plan at home that best meets their needs. The program helps to achieve coordinated care plans based on what is most important to the patient, and what is most concerning to the patient about their health to meet their unique needs. Care plans include regular check-ins by care providers such as nurses, personal support workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers and dietitians, and information sharing with the patient’s primary care provider.
“Closing the Gap Healthcare is proud to be supporting the first hospital to home transitional care model in Muskoka in partnership with Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare and the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team,” says Yiannis Soumalias, Vice President of Business Performance and Partnerships, Closing the Gap Healthcare. “We’ve been advocating for increased integration and collaboration across the health system and this program is a perfect example of how integrated care can achieve positive impacts on our population. We are grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing to serve the people of Muskoka in the future.”
There have been several positive impacts and benefits to the new program – not only for the 65 patients enrolled in the program over the past year, but also for the hospital and healthcare system.
“When the transition to living at home can be daunting, the Hospital to Home Program will help patients, families, and caregivers to meet their goals during the transition from the hospital to home and set them up for success and safety at home,” says MAHC President & CEO Cheryl Harrison. “We are so encouraged by the 100% patient satisfaction with the program and the positive response from patients themselves where 88% reported improved quality of life as a direct result of the program.
In addition to the positive patient reviews, the hospital experienced a 43% decrease in alternate level of care patients who no longer require hospital care and are waiting to return home with appropriate supports, decreased Emergency Department visits and readmission rates by the participating patients in the program, Harrison adds.
The Hospital to Home program provides patients with the time limited approach that is best for their needs: a short term 60-day pathway or a longer 112-day pathway. The program is supported by Ministry of Health through its Alternative Level of Care Strategy Initiatives.