So Dorothy clicks her heels three times as she desperately repeats, “There’s no place like home,” and voila, she’s home. Of course, going home isn’t as simple as slipping on a pair of ruby red slippers. We’ve got the next best thing – the Assess Restore program. Admittedly less fantastical than teleporting shoes, this program does what it intends to - and that’s to help people return home from hospital.
But the issue here is different than in Dorothy’s case. The issue addressed by the Assess Restore program is one of improving people’s health to a point where they are well enough to go home.
In 2010-11, 81% (674 people) of the people admitted to this program, were discharged home from hospital. Based on data, we know that without this program, the majority of these individuals would have gone into long-term care. That’s nearly 700 people - grandfathers, grandmothers, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles – who avoided going into a long-term care home and instead, returned home. We know that people prefer to be home, where they are in familiar surroundings and close to family and friends. What’s more, this program has resulted in $30 million in health system savings just within our LHIN!
Without the Assess Restore program: once acute care is complete, an individual waits in hospital to go to long-term care because they haven’t gained strength sufficiently to return home. While they are waiting in hospital, their level of functioning tends to decline due to a lack of mobility. The more inactive a person is the more their level of functioning declines. It is a downward spiral. With the Assess Restore program and with lots of hard work through intense physical therapy, this program stops that decline, and in fact, restores the level of functioning to a point where the individual is well enough to return home.
The beauty of this program is it gives people a fighting chance that they otherwise would not have had - a chance to regain their strength; a chance to regain their independence; a chance to go home where we know they want to be.
The Assess Restore program is truly incredible – incredible for people; incredible for the health care system! It supports improved quality of care for individuals, their transitions through the health system, and more efficient and appropriate use of health system resources.
There are currently 93 Assess Restore beds throughout our LHIN, and at their June 28 business meeting, our board approved six more beds to be located at Wellington Park long-term care home in Burlington.
The board also approved two initiatives that will help people in hospital who need an alternate level of care move to a more appropriate care setting. For more information, read ‘Highlights from the Board Business Meeting’ in the July issue of LHINsight.
What we are trying to do, and more importantly, what we are doing, is helping people get the best care, in the right place, at the right time. Because we understand there’s no place like home.
Thank you to all my blog readers – be sure to read my next post on Monday, September 12.