Health research improves Ontario patient care

Oct 25, 2012 | News

Life size dummy used to practice medical care techniques. PHOTO BY SHYLO ADAMS

By Shylo Adams

Decreasing the length of hospital stays and readmission are the focus of two projects the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario hopes to implement in several of their research hospitals.

Chris Paterson, a director with the non-profit organization representing 24 research hospitals, told Humber News that the Adopting Research to Improve Care program will help introduce new guidelines and techniques into the health care system.

The first of the two projects targets nine hospitals at which patients treated for mental diseases will be monitored by medical staff after being discharged into the community. Until now, patients have largely been on their own when released from care.

“The focus of it is providing a safety net relationship,” said Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, project lead.

“One is that, the staff who is involved with them in the hospital stays involved – until there is a relationship with their community care provider.”

The project also looks at providing peer support for patients, Dr.Forchuk said.

“They have assistance from someone who also had a mental health problem, but is managing to live successfully in the community.”

The second project involves 12 CAHO hospitals and aims to improve the recovery process for patients treated for colorectal disease.

The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery strategy, also known as Fast Track Surgery, will help improve care for patients and reduce post-surgery complications, said Dr. Robin McLeod, project lead at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

The strategy involves a mix of medication and getting patients mobile earlier than in traditional treatment, she said.

The organization has no set date for when both projects will commence in their research hospitals.