The Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) is using a new monitoring technology to enhance nursing care for end-of-life patients who are staying in their home.
The initiative is called eShift and it allows a nurse to monitor patients overnight and provide guidance to a Health Care Technician (a specially trained Personal Support Worker) in the home. This provides an opportunity for families to get some much needed rest during a very emotionally-exhausting time.
"We have partnered with VON to offer this service to our palliative patients across Erie St. Clair," said Lucy Coppola, Director of Patient Services. "The service is available for those who choose their home as their preferred setting at end-of-life. We can also provide eShift for palliative patients who are waiting to get into hospice."
So far, eShift has been used to support 89 patients since its launch in November 2015.
"The eShift program provides respite support for caregivers and palliative care for patients, allowing those who wish to remain at home to do so comfortably, until death or transition to hospice. A VON Health Care Technician remains at the patient's bed side and delivers care as directed by a Directing Registered Nurse (DRN) who monitors the patient continuously," said Andrew Ward, District Executive Director of Erie St. Clair VON.
Sandy Ozarak's father was diagnosed with lung cancer and as the 85-year-old's condition worsened, he was no longer able to live alone and no longer able to make trips back and forth to the hospital for the various treatments and testing he needed. "We had my father come live with us. My husband and I were both working and we also needed to make sure our son was getting the attention he needed. We were exhausted and needed a little break. Just after the holidays we were able to start using the eShift program. They were amazing," said Ozarak.
"We were used to many people coming and going as part of my father's care. With eShift, we had just two technicians working with my father. One of them would come each night from 11pm until 7am, giving my family the opportunity to get some much needed rest," she continued. "Before my father passed away in mid-January, his sleeping pattern got mixed up and he was awake all night. The worker was someone there for him to talk to, while also providing his care. He appreciated it so much he wanted to leave them an inheritance. The workers graciously told him it wasn't necessary."
For more information about the CCAC's eShift program, please call 1-888-447-4468.
Listen to Director, Patient Services Lucy Coppola talk about eShift with AM800: