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A team approach; key to the success of the BSO Program

​The Behaviour Supports Ontario (BSO) Program targets patients who are designated as ALC in hospital and who may present with barriers to discharge; such as dementia and other neurological conditions.

Since January, 18 patients have been referred to the BSO program in the Chatham-Kent region. Jennifer Tremblay, a Care Coordinator with the Erie St. Clair CCAC, works closely with the staff at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance to provide a collaborative and patient-centered approach to patients under the BSO program.

Staff education has been an integral part of her role in order to alleviate stigmas and encourage staff to "treat the person not the disease". Jennifer encourages hospital staff and partners to utilize and integrate a variety of creative methods and strategies in the patient care plan to improve patient outcomes and avoid responsive behaviours.

"We have started using the whiteboards that are found in the patients' rooms in order for staff to get to know the patients on a more personal level" explained Jennifer. "I list what they used to do for a living, what are their likes and dislikes, what calms them, etc. We find this is helping to develop a relationship between the staff and patients and as a result is creating and fostering an environment that increases quality and safety, not only for the patients but for the staff as well."

The BSO program in Chatham is seeing great success. The average length of hospital stay for these patients is decreasing and through this great program "we are able to help the patients and their families transition back to their community in a timely manner" noted Jennifer. "I have met many wonderful, knowledgeable, and compassionate people who are committed to making a difference for patients and their families".