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Home First Philosophy

Harold and Barbara Willis

The Home First philosophy, which applies to all hospital patients, supports an interdisciplinary approach to planning for early discharge. Home First includes the early engagement of patients and families in the discharge process by the interprofessional team, including Home and Community Care Support Services Central East and Community Support Services (CSS). Home First is a philosophy that promotes safe and timely care, services and supports to meet the health care needs of patients and families in the most appropriate setting - it applies to all patients. It is a partnership between Home and Community Care Support Services Central East, hospitals and Community Support Services. It is also a system of people, processes and services to facilitate timely discharge from hospital after an acute care stay.

Home means where the patient comes from. The "home" should be the first destination considered for discharge of any patient. Although the ultimate destination will not be the patient's current home, this will be their first stop from the hospital. Benefits for patients include being at home where they want to be and maintaining their health, independence and well-being for longer. In addition, the risk of nosocomial disease is reduced. We wanted to embrace a process that allows patients and families to make life-changing decisions about future housing from the comfort of their own homes.

According to the Home First philosophy, "every patient admitted to hospital should expect to be discharged home at the end of the acute care period." Any decisions about major lifestyle changes should be made at home, not in the hospital. The Home and Community Care Support Services Care Coordinator is the “destination determinant” and “system navigator” for all patients who require community services upon discharge.

What services are offered?
The following services are offered, among others: intensive case management, nursing care, personal support services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, dietetics, equipment and supplies.

What are the main benefits for patients and families?

  • Clients can recuperate in a familiar environment, reducing the risk of losing strength from lack of mobility while remaining in hospital.
  • There is no cost for eligible services provided through Home and Community Care Support Services Central East.
  • Seniors have more time to improve their health status prior to making a major decision about their future care needs.

What are the main benefits for the health system?

  • The Home First program, by helping people get better at home, relieves pressures on hospitals. For example, more beds are made available for patients who require surgery.
  • Preventing premature admission to long-term care homes results in greater access to these beds for individuals who require a more intensive level of care.

Good management of home care reduces the demand for more expensive health care while allowing people to maintain their independence.