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Rapid Response Nurses Keeping Seniors Home after Hospital Stay

Helping seniors to manage medications a key part of new program

OTTAWA, March 26, 2014 – Medication-related issues are among the leading reasons why Ontario's seniors with complex health care needs are admitted to hospital. The Champlain Community Care Access Centre's (CCAC) Rapid Response Nursing Program is helping to reduce hospital re-admissions and avoidable emergency department visits in the region.

After discharge from hospital, Rapid Response Nurses conduct a medication review to help patients understand how and when to take their medications, manage multiple medications and watch out for side effects.

"After a hospital stay, people often forget what they've been told about their medications. I teach patients and caregivers about their particular health needs and how to take the medication that was ordered by the physician upon discharge," said Julia Beaudoin, Rapid Response Nurse at the Champlain CCAC.

Pembroke resident Murray Moore, 75 years old, spent five weeks in the hospital last summer. He had been prescribed new medication, in addition to the ones he was taking before being admitted.

"I wasn't really thinking right in the hospital. I was taking many pills when I got out and didn't really feel like myself. The Rapid Response Nurse took time to go through each and every one of my medications and explained what they did. I felt like the way she handled things was medicine in itself," said Mr. Moore.   

In consultation with Care Coordinators, community nurses and other community health providers, Rapid Response Nurses provide care at home within the first 24-48 hours after patients are discharged from the hospital. They also ensure that patients have an appointment with their primary care provider within 7 days after returning home.

Over 570 patients in the Champlain region have benefited from this innovative program since it was launched in December 2012. The program supports patients with complex medical needs – frail adults, seniors and children – by improving the transition from hospital to home.

About the Champlain CCAC

The Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) is one of the largest health service providers in eastern Ontario, connecting people to care in a region covering over 18,000 sq. km. Every year, the Champlain CCAC supports clients in a variety of settings through injury, illness and the complications of age or disability by facilitating their access to information, community-based services and other resources. Our client care coordination teams help develop care plans for people of all ages, focused on maintaining independence and dignity at home and in their community.