Friday, 14 April 2017 05:16

Cypress Health officials seeing success with model of care at Clover House

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The Cypress Health Region is having success with the use of a multi-disciplinary team approach at Clover House, the 15-bed hospice/palliative care house at The Meadows long-term care facility in Swift Current.


Clover House provides short-term stays for patients who need convalescent, rehabilitative, respite and palliative care.
According to Cypress Health Vice-President of Continuing Care Brenda Schwan the other health regions provide similar care, but the approach at Clover House is unique.
“The multi-disciplinary team and attaching to home care is the most unique, which I think gives us the greatest advantage, because then there isn’t another handoff in our system,” she said. “We know that as soon as we have handoffs then there is the chance of error.”
The implementation of a multi-disciplinary team approach at Clover House has various benefits for patients and their families. The team members include nursing staff, therapists, home care assessors and pharmacy staff.
They will do regular rounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when they discuss the situation of patients and whether they are ready to go home. Each team member can contribute a different perspective about a patient, for example the home care assessor is familiar with a patient’s home environment and the challenges a person might face when returning home.
“They know if they have lifts in their house and can bring that to the table,” she said. “If they don’t, then they can work with the families and loved ones to make sure that is in place for when they do go home.”
These assessments by the multi-disciplinary team will make it possible to not only determine more effectively when a patient is ready to go home, but also if a person qualifies for a brief visit to home while still remaining at Clover House for care.
“We have what is called day passes and we have had them always, but never really were successful in implementing them, because we didn’t have the multi-disciplinary team that we have at Clover House,” she said. “Often we will just try a pass if we think that they are advancing and they’re actually sleeping through the night, they’re not having any troubles and they’re doing most of their care themselves.”
Clover House provides short-term stays for patients with different needs. Some are recovering after tertiary care, for example, they might have received hip or knee surgery.
In other cases, the admittance to Clover House provides an alternative for people who have visited the emergency room for medical help, but they do not need to be admitted to the hospital’s medical-surgical unit.
“They don’t really need that level of intense care, but they just need some help and they just need toget back on their feet,” Schwan explained. “We’ve actually had a couple of direct admissions right from the emergency department into Clover House. So the system as a whole is really relieving pressure on our system.”
Another success has been the ability to do direct admissions of palliative care patients from the community to Clover House.
“In the past what would happen if they were struggling with pain management or if the family were struggling to take care of them at home, they would end up in the ER and then on to med-surg,” she said.
This admission to Clover House is done through close co-operation with home care staff, which ensures that a bed is available when a person needs palliative care.
“When that time comes, then, it’s just a direct admittance and those admittances are happening 24 hours a day,” she said. “It could be at night, often we see that they’re struggling. So we can do that admission right at night and they can come right to Clover House.”
Clover House is also making a difference to families who are providing respite care to a loved one.
“It would be people in the community that are either going away and they have a loved one that they’re taking care of or they’re just struggling taking care of a loved one,” she said. “We can give them just some reprieve for a little bit.”
This respite care option provides an alternative to placing a person in long-term care or in hospital. A home care assessor will work with a client and his or her family to determine needs and the duration of a person’s stay at Clover House.
“The advantage we have is that the home care assessor stays with that client during the whole stay over at Clover House, where in the past, they didn’t,” she said. “They went into the long-term care facilities into a respite bed and the home care assessor didn’t follow their stay and then when they were ready to be discharged out then the home care assessor went back and saw them in their home.”
The daily use of Clover House is close to capacity with an occupancy rate of about 90 per cent, which means 13 or 14 beds will be in use.
“We do admissions and discharges every day,” she said. “So pretty much we are running at capacity and just based on identified needs we might hold a bed just for palliative.”
There are more beds available at Clover House than before the construction of The Meadows. Previously, there were two respite beds at the Swift Current Care Centre and a palliative bed at the Prairie Pioneers Lodge as well as the Palliser Regional Care Centre.
“So this has largely helped our capacity within Swift Current and surrounding areas for respite, palliative and convalescence,” Schwan said.

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Matthew Liebenberg

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