NESGC is a multidisciplinary team of health care providers who deliver specialized care for older adults with complex health needs, as well as expert resources for health care professionals and caregivers throughout Northeastern Ontario.
In response to unique health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic the NESGC has developed a new virtual assessment program to support home bound seniors who have screened positive for COVID-19 to identify and support both social and medical risk factors for seniors who are quarantined. This virtual assessment occurs in collaboration with both paramedicine and emergency department (ED) health care professionals.
The program includes three streams:
- Stream 1: Community Paramedicine Referral
- Stream 2: ED Referral
- Stream 3: HSN COVID Assessment Center
The goals of the NESGC COVID-19 Response Team are to:
- Assess, identify and provide recommendations regarding any social risk factors;
- support clinical decisions about whether a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital or if they can self-isolate at home;
- reduce the burden on the health care system;
- monitor and assess patient symptoms and overall health so they can safely remain in their own home;
- alleviate patient anxiety and stress while they are self-isolating at home.
The objectives of the study are to:
- determine the impact of virtual daily visits with home-bound patients who screen positive for COVID19 on ED Diversion (# of direct admissions; # sent to ED, # not admitted).
- determine the success of the program in meeting the needs of patients, paramedics, ED physicians.
- implement an interdisciplinary health system learning cycle which will rapidly inform the continuous quality improvement of the program.
- share and disseminate the program and related learning health system processes to support successful implementation in other centres, including those in rural and remote communities in Northern Ontario where virtual assessments are a vital component of health care delivery. Applications include responses to emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other general applications to increase opportunities for seniors to remain safely in their own home as an alternative to hospitalization.