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QUALITY AND SAFETY: A Renewed Committment

Teaming Up!  
Critical Care, Long Term Care and Community Support Program Work Together for Mission Success 
Published on Connect Magazine, Winter 2011

Lights flash. Monitors beep and whir. Staff rush in and out. There is no day or night. This is the reality of life in an ICU. 
Teaming Up! - Integrating Services
Intensive care health professionals are very conscious of how much of an impact all this busy activity has on recovering patients. “The critical care area is a very busy unit and careful consideration must be given to admitting and caring for patients in ICU,” says Rick Seward, Regional Professional Practice Coordinator, Respiratory Therapy.

So, what would you do if you could find a way to provide a more peaceful environment with less intensive care for an ICU patient? That was the challenge facing our team at the Health Sciences Centre and St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital this summer with two patients who required ventilators but not the full compliment of services available in an ICU. 

“These patients were healthy, other than needing a ventilator,” says Valerie Lam, acute care Social Worker. “Subjecting them to this type of setting was having an impact on the patient’s psychological well being. Being surrounded by critically ill patients and seeing other patients pass away could be putting them at greater risk of depression.”  
Joanne Butler, ICU manager at the Health Sciences Centre, points out, “We were putting these patients at risk of infections and various other potential illnesses, including H1N1. This heightened the need to have the patients moved to a more appropriate care setting.” That is when collaboration across programs began. The acute care team consulted the Community Support Program to determine if supports could be put in place to return one client to an assisted living setting.


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Updated Jan 10, 2012