It is imperative to sustain and protect the funding for the Short Term Assessment and Treatment team (STAT). There is not only a demographic imperative to continue to provide outpatient geriatric rehabilitative care in the City of Greater Sudbury it is a resource that our system of care for frail older adults has come to rely on. Through the evaluation process the recurring themes reinforced the essential nature of this service and provided opportunities for both clinical and system improvements.
Since 2009 leaders in our community have recognized the importance of a geriatric system of care in our community and across the North East. With base funding in 2009 from the Aging at Home initiative North East Specialized Geriatric Centre began to provide specialized geriatric services in the North East. Since that time services have developed and evolved regionally and in four out of the five sub regions. Geriatric Outpatient Rehabilitation Services (STAT) is a key cornerstone to the foundation of specialized geriatric services and is unique to the city of greater Sudbury.
The volume of service at STAT has increased year over year and there are increasing system and clinical outcomes. We heard from patients and caregivers about the impact the services had on restoring function, hope and a decreased need to visit the emergency department for care. We heard from patients that the STAT team provided comprehensive care in a timely way and there was time allotted for a patient and family centred treatment plan. We also heard from patients and families that there needs to be increased awareness of the options for specialized services for frail older adults as the programs are not visible in our community.
From our system stakeholders our evaluation highlighted the need to grow and expand the referral base to all primary care providers, home and community care and the need to highlight the option of referrals to the services of STAT for patients that don’t require a bedded level of geriatric rehabilitative care. Our community stakeholders also raised the value of and the need for increased transitional care from ED and Inpatient to community.
Through this evaluation the value of the services delivered by STAT were continuously highlighted as were the opportunities to increase visibility, referrals and alignment of the mandate of STAT to best practice in care for older adults. In order to continue to support patients, families and our stakeholders and realize the opportunities for improvement sustainable and protected funding is required.