Fraser Health is making big changes for Agassiz, Hope and Chilliwack with a new integrative approach to home health care.
With integrated primary and community care services, home health care patients can expect a supportive, interdisciplinary team consisting of their general practitioner (GP), home health worker and other care providers.
Fraser Canyon Hospital director Catherine Wiebe said better communication between health professionals will allow them to work as a network, rather than wasting time, energy and resources sending referrals and reports back and forth.
“The patient is the same patient – whether the doctor is seeing the patient or the home health team. They all have the same goals: the right care at the right place at the right time,” she said. “The closer you can integrate those steps, the greater likelihood of consistency in the care plan and…less opportunity for there to be challenges.”
Currently, the home health care model is often disjointed, with multiple pools of care providers working with the same patient – but not communicating with one another.
“When you transfer people from one caregiver to another, sometimes information can be missed,” Wiebe said. “Having the team working closely together creates a unified care plan and better collaboration around the care needs for the patient.”
The new approach will be more efficient and effective for both communities’ aging populations and other patients that require home care, writes Fraser Health public affairs consultant Tasleem Juma in an email.
“By partnering with primary care providers, we have more opportunities to provide proactive and preventative health care and to support patients to receive care in their home and community whenever possible.”
For patients currently recieving home health care, the transition will likely take a few months as staff is brought on board with the changes, said Wiebe. But soon, these patients can expect to have a team of health care professionals supporting them.
“You’ll have two people – an RN and an LPN – assigned to your care. They will be more closely connected to either the physician or nurse practitioner,” said Wiebe, adding that Fraser Health hopes to have community health workers included in these new teams.