Knowing when a patient has presented to the emergency department (ED), and if they are currently receiving CCAC services in their home or community, are key pieces of information for both the North East CCAC and area hospitals. The new e-Notification initiative will see 24 Northeastern Ontario Network (NEON) hospitals 'turned on' in February and March 2015. The e-Notification software is a simple but incredibly valuable tool.
Upon presenting to the ED or admission to an inpatient unit, the patient's name and birthdate are entered in the hospital's Meditech system. This information is relayed to a provincial database, and if the name and corresponding birthdate indicate a match, a task is generated in the CCAC's CHRIS system informing both the CCAC and hospital that the individual is receiving CCAC services. Upon discharge, the information flows once again, ensuring the CCAC is aware that a patient will be returning to home/community care.
As a result of receiving this notification, hospital staff (and other health service providers, including Healthlinks), are prompted to search for the patient's CCAC care history in Health Partner Gateway (HPG). In one easy step, staff can see what nursing, personal care or therapy services the patient is receiving, if they've applied to, or are awaiting placement to a long-term care home, and other pertinent information. This not only provides a more accurate lens on the patient's current condition, but also assists the discharge planning process to determine whether sufficient services are in place, or more are needed.
This project has seen an unprecedented level of cooperation among partners, not to mention a great deal of work behind the scenes in the creation of Data Sharing and Network Services agreements to facilitate these links between key health care partners. Of course the real winners are the patients themselves, who will experience smoother transitions, faster discharges and fewer readmissions to hospital and better follow-up care. Enhanced technology leading to enhanced patient care – we can't think of a better equation!