West Park Healthcare Centre reported approximately 280 transfers to the Emergency Department (ED) each year, with 75% of patients going to Humber River Hospital.
West Park and Humber River believed there were ways to decrease the transfers between the two sites and improve the experience for their patients. Working together with the IDEAS program, they identified improvements that resulted in an initial 21% reduction in unplanned ED transfers from West Park to Humber River. A year later, the project had not only been sustained, the reduction in unplanned transfers had reached 30%.
West Park provides rehabilitative and complex continuing care to patients who have experienced a life-altering illness or injury, such as amputation, stroke and traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. This means that most of their patients have already had extensive interaction with other health care providers and hospitals prior to arriving at West Park.
When they looked at the data, two things became clear. First, some ED transfers were taking place unnecessarily. Second, many patients were being transferred to Humber River simply because it was the nearest hospital, when a transfer to the hospital already familiar with their care would have been the more effective option.
The West Park and Humber River IDEAS team set an aim of reducing unplanned inpatient ED transfers from West Park to Humber River by 10% by March 2018.
After conducting focus groups with patients, they implemented a number of change ideas, including:
- Conducting weekly case reviews to identify patients at high risk of repeat ED transfers so a plan of action could be initiated
- Implementing alternative care pathways to expedite access to outpatient clinics and diagnostic procedures to help prevent deterioration and avoid repeat ED visits
- Repatriating patients to their home hospital, which helps ensure patients, especially those who were recent transfers to the West Park rehab program, were treated by the people who were most familiar with their care needs
View the full project summary here.
Below is a summary of the results that West Park and Humber River were able to achieve.
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