Archive for November, 2014

Common Goals Lead to Great Results for Patients in North Bay

North Bay – When Board members from the North East Community Care Access Centre (North East CCAC) and the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) met to discuss opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in September 2012, few could have envisioned the remarkable success those meetings would initiate.

One challenge identified early on was the length of time patients were waiting in hospital for long-term care – sometimes more than 250 days. It was a statistic that both organizations knew had to change.

A formal partnership agreement was signed and staff teams began identifying barriers to placement and setting targets to smooth and improve the transition between hospital and long-term care, which sometimes means waiting at home.

“Collaboration is key…collaboration with our partners in care and with our patients and families. When we discuss discharge planning, the patient, family, doctor, nurse, social worker and CCAC staff all function as a cohesive team to make realistic plans for transition home or to a safe community setting. In addition, we have created improved processes to ensure safe and effective care before, during and after discharge,” says Nancy Jacko, Vice President, Planning, Partnership, and Professional Practice, and Chief Nursing Executive.

With a modest target of a 10% decrease in the length of stay for these patients, in just one year the average length of stay reduced by 66% to 75 days. The joint initiative also saw improvements in Emergency Department wait times and overall hospital occupancy rates in North Bay.

“In addition to the collaboration on discharge planning, another key to our success in North Bay has been the engagement and education of front line staff, family physicians, pharmacists, retirement homes, Community Support Services, and indeed, the entire community,” says Frankie Vitone, Senior Director Care Coordination, North East CCAC. “It is understood that safe patient transitions within the system and into the community are everyone’s responsibility.”

The NBRHC and the North East CCAC are now developing a common goal for timely referrals and assessments in order to improve patient transitions and care planning, and further decrease unnecessary days in hospital.

The North East CCAC plans to replicate this collaborative model with the three other large urban hospitals in the region.


For further information:

Sean Barrette
Communications Specialist
North East CCAC
Office: 705 522 3460, ext. 4566

Kathy Stackelberg
Sr. Communications Specialist
Office: 705 474 8600, ext. 7811

More Time To Care – Capturing the Voice of Our Patients at Health Achieve

Patient and Family Partnered Care Coordinator Tamara Dube-Clarke attended the Health Achieve Symposium in Toronto recently where she was invited to sit on two panels. This event draws North America’s top health care leaders and over 7,800 health care professionals so NBRHC was very proud that Tamara was asked to take part in two of the educational sessions!

TAMARA DUBE-CLARKEShe was able to promote how this year NBRHC has embarked on the journey of More Time to Care – a continuous improvement system that empowers people at all levels to remove waste from their work processes to free up time for care and partner with patients and families to help improve patient outcomes.

Tamara sat on the Accreditation Canada Patient and Family Engagement Panel as well as the Patient Engagement Change Foundation Panel. Upon her return from Health Achieve Tamara had this to say:

What an amazing opportunity to be invited to be a participant in the two panels. I was so proud to represent NBRHC in sharing what we have done to ensure patients and their families are engaged in their health care experience.

The fact that we have been recognized as leaders in Patient and Family Engagement says a lot about the work that our organization has done in shaping our culture to one that is truly patient and family partnered paving the way to best possible outcomes for the patient, their families and NBRHC employees.

My talk highlighted the use of photoVOICE and digital Story Telling to capture the voice of our patients and those that care for them. Attendees laughed and cried when stories were shared, many leaving the presentation inspired to try photography as a medium for story telling at their organizations.

Those in attendance were very interested in learning how they might better understand the patient’s lived experience when there is difficulty communicating. The idea of using photography to generate conversation and understanding about the mental health experience was very well received. After the presentation attendees lined up to ask questions on how we got started and how they can find out more about our exciting initiatives.

Since returning from Health Achieve we have received many calls and emails requesting further information regarding our initiatives and what we have planned moving forward. I have shared our Patient and Family Partnered Care Roadmap, outlining our plans to support the four core concepts of Patient and Family Partnered Care at the NBRHC; Dignity and Respect, Information Sharing, Participation and Collaboration. This is all part of our new culture of More Time to Care…a continuous improvement process that identifies waste and frees up more time for care team members to partner with patients and family.

At a time when our health care system is under such restraints and growing so complex, it is nice to be reminded that THE  most important thing we can do is listen to our patients and their families and that will move the change we need.”

NBRHC Board Director Jennifer Valenti was fortunate to attend the OHA Conference where she attended one of the panel presentations. The following are some of her comments in a letter to NBRHC President and CEO Paul Heinrich:

I had the privilege of attending the session on Partnered Health Care where Tamara Dube-Clarke spoke on behalf of the NBRHC.  I cannot tell you enough how impressed I am with this young woman. Although she said she was nervous, her presentation was excellent and delivered in an eloquent and genuine manner. I believe she truly captured the audience with her presentation on the work being done at NBRHC.  It wasn’t just what she said but how she delivered the message with her natural grace and poise.  It is obvious that she connects very deeply with her work. The hospital is very lucky to have someone of her calibre on staff.

Mobile Crisis Service Launched in North Bay

Nurses, Police and North East LHIN work in partnership to respond to community need

A Mobile Crisis Service is now in place in North Bay as a result of work efforts between the North East LHIN, the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC), and the North Bay Police Service (NBPS), guided by a community stakeholder steering committee. This service provides an opportunity to strengthen the crisis continuum within mental health services, enhance care coordination and transitions to improve the patient experience and as a result is making Mental Health and Addictions Services more accessible.

This summer, two mental health registered nurses from the NBRHC and nine police officers from the NBPS received specialized training to better serve persons in crisis with mental health and/or addiction issues. The Mobile Crisis Team consists of a registered nurse and a police officer working together. The NBPS and the NBRHC are committed to supporting this service which has been operating since mid-September.

“There is growing recognition that emergency response services as first responders cannot and should not operate alone on the fringe of the health care system, but rather need to be included as mainstream partners in the delivery of crisis services,” says Chief Paul Cook, North Bay Police Service. “Emergency response services naturally cut across many different systems, including social services, legal, health, community and personal safety because a crisis can occur at any time with anybody.”

“It is very important that we find ways to help people in crisis receive the support they need in the right place, from the right provider, the first time,” says Sandy Deschenes, Manager of Crisis Intervention at the North Bay Regional Health Centre. “Often when a person calls 911 in psychological or emotional distress, officers have limited options to helping and usually end up spending hours in an emergency department waiting with the person for care. Mobile Crisis Services are an effective and efficient approach to helping these people. Initiating contact and intervening earlier in a crisis prevents situations from escalating to the point where there are limited options. Having trained professionals respond who can help de-escalate a situation and get people connected to the right service in the community without having to always bring them to the Emergency Department is a win-win.”

“This partnership will bring people-centered care to those who are feeling overwhelmed and in crisis,” says Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). “We have supported this model as a way to bring the right care to people, where they need it. A busy ED can be a difficult place to be if you’re in crisis. People with lived experience have told us they would much rather be treated in home or community.”