Central CCAC Health Links Coordinators were featured in North York General Hospital's internal newsletter. Read more below.
How Health Links Care Coordinators help you and your patients
Recently, we interviewed two Health Links Care Coordinators about their roles and the valuable service they provide to Health Links patients.
How would you describe your role?
Lauren: As Care Coordinators, we are the eyes in the home. We see aspects of the patient's life very clearly, like what supports they have or don't have in place. This information, I think, can be especially helpful to our colleagues working in the hospital. For a Health Links patient with complex needs, discharge planning can be difficult.
Cathy: We are a dedicated resource assigned to the Health Links patient and connected with the patient's entire care team including their medical team, community, family and caregivers. We are here to help.
Why should hospital staff get in touch with a patient's Health Links Care Coordinator?
Lauren: Discharge planning that includes a patient's Health Links Care Coordinator is crucial to ensure the right supports are in place at home. Staff working emergency department and inpatient units can help Health Links patients by connecting with the patient's Health Links Care Coordinator before discharge.
Why did you become a Health Links Care Coordinator?
Cathy: I want to help our complex patients have a better quality of life at home, where most people want to be.
Lauren: My background is in social work and I thought the Health Links model complemented my training to listen and work together with people to find solutions to problems, both medical and social. I think Health Links has a wonderful holistic approach to caring for people.
What's the best part of your job?
Lauren: When you leave a case conference knowing that the patient and family feel supported because we have worked as a team, the family physician, specialists, nurses, and care coordinator, to help the patient to get the right care; it is such a great feeling.
Cathy: I would say that most of my patients, over 90 per cent, are so thankful for and very happy with, the extra bit of support and help we provide. It makes me feel that my job is worthwhile.
Before becoming Health Links Care Coordinators, Cathy Lajeunesse worked as a nurse in a surgical inpatient unit and the operating room, and Lauren Lindsay has a background in social work and worked as a Coordinator on mental health and complex seniors files for the Central Community Care Access Centre.
Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Health Link patients, identified by specific criteria, receive a dedicated Health Links Care Coordinator, a case conference with their care team and a Coordinated Care Plan.
Since it launched just over one year ago, approximately 200 patients have been enrolled in our North York Central Health Link. Health Links brings family physicians, nurse practitioners, specialists, hospitals, Community Care Access Centres and community services together to improve the care of complex patients. Complex patients are typically older and have multiple chronic conditions.