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Rapid Response Nurses Ease Safe Return Home for High-Risk Patients

Additional care is now available to help people with high-risk needs safely return home from the hospital – and avoid coming back. The Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) has hired five rapid response nurses (RRNs) to support patients with complex clinical care needs as they move from hospital to home.

"People prefer to recover at home after their acute care needs have been met," says Cathy Hecimovich, CEO, Central West CCAC. "The RRN program provides crucial care in the home within 24 hours of hospital discharge and helps ensure that people have the care  and supports they need to remain safely in their familiar surroundings."

In addition, RRNs provide education to help patients understand their illnesses and symptoms, including how to take prescribed medications. They also arrange for follow-up medical appointments and tests, and work in collaboration with primary care providers, CCAC care coordinators and other community partners to ensure that patients are holistically supported as they recover.

Launched in partnership with William Osler Health System and Headwaters Health Care Centre, the program will initially support frail adults and seniors with congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


"The RRN program is a great illustration of what can be achieved when many parts of the health care system work together."

Kiki Ferrari, Executive Director, Patient Services, William Osler Health System

"We welcome the CCAC's rapid response nurses to work with our patients upon discharge from the hospital. Together, we will ensure a smooth transition home after our patients' acute care needs have been met in the hospital."


Mary Wheelwright, Director, Headwaters Health Care Centre

"The Rapid Response Nursing Program that is under the direction of the Central West CCAC is one of the most innovative new initiatives that have been launched in the province. We have recognized that transitions in care are crucial in a patient's health journey, and this program allows us to provide transitions in a safe and fulsome manner. The rapid response nurses will be the eyes of the family doctor in the patient's home, providing an important team-based component to their care."

Dr. Frank Martino, Primary Care Lead, Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)

"Rapid response nurses complement the care provided by CCAC care coordinators and community nurses. Together, we help people with a broad range of circumstances and conditions meet their health care goals. With their focus on smoothing transitions home from the hospital, rapid response nurses play a key role in helping meet the needs of our patients."

Cathy Hecimovich, CEO, Central West CCAC



About the Central West CCAC

The Central West Community Care Access Centre (CW CCAC) supports people of all ages who require assistance maintaining their independence. They offer a range of services, from connecting people with care in their community to providing home-based services  and facilitating admissions to long-term care homes. They are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Central West Local Health Integration Network. Many services are covered by the provincial health insurance plan for those holding a valid Ontario Health Card.

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Laura Glynn, Manager of Communications Central West CCAC
905-796-0040, ext. 2268