Committee to shorten waits for acute care patients

By Sue Tiffin
Published Oct. 31 2017

The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Oct. 26 meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services board.

Dr. Kristy Gammon chief of staff said a committee will be formed to provide leadership on exploring strategies to prevent acute care patients from being admitted to the hospital only to endure long wait times for long-term care placement and identifying strategies to provide better support to those waiting for placement in long-term care.

“Patients who are in our acute care but waiting for long-term care placement can be admitted for many many months and unfortunately don’t have access to a lot of the beneficial activities socialization pharmacy oversight etc. etc. that our residents in long-term care get and that we know help people have a better quality of life” she said.

Gammon said the issue was raised at a medical advisory committee meeting through a letter from Dr. Norm Bottum on behalf of medical staff.

HHHS explores possibility of Youth Hub

Point in Time is one of the community partners working in a collaborative effort with HHHS to possibly initiate an extension of the Haliburton Highlands Rural Health Hub directed toward youth aged 12 to 25. According to CEO Carolyn Plummer the youth-focused hub would be a “one-stop shop where they can get services maybe access to some health services but also other types of services that can maybe help them in various aspects of their life maybe some mental health services some employment services housing that kind of thing.”

“We don’t have a lot of details yet but we’re definitely exploring it” she said.

Behavioural support funded

A part-time registered practical nurse is being funded through Behavioural Supports Ontario to help support the care of residents at Highland Wood and Hyland Crest with responsive behaviours. According to Plummer’s CEO report the support and programming is implemented “through assessment intervention strategy planning implementation and evaluation care plan updates supporting admission behavioural care planning and transitions and building behavioural support capacity within the two homes.”

“A lot of the behavioural support work has been taking place in our two long-term care homes but it’s work we’ve been trying to do without that dedicated support and financial resource so we’re quite excited that we finally have the opportunity to have someone dedicated to that” said Plummer at the meeting. She praised Michelle Douglas and April DeCarlo for their work in two years of lobbying for the funding.

Facilities renovated repaired

The parking lot at the Community Support Services building in Haliburton has been paved improving accessibility. A pathway that connects the community support services lot to the hospital parking lot was also created.

“It makes for a nice little walking path but also makes accessibility an awful lot easier for folks” said Plummer.

Roof repairs at the Haliburton hospital have begun while the roof of the Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) building in Minden has been reshingled.

The washroom near the Haliburton emergency room at the hospital now has increased accessibility and a new washroom was installed in the diagnostic imaging area. The acute care shower room was recently redone.

Code grey

Plummer applauded what she called the “fabulous work” of the IT team management team and staff in responding to the loss of phone service for which a Code Grey was issued at the Haliburton site on Oct. 18. The loss was a result of a damaged phone line that affected the hospital high school and several homes and businesses in the Haliburton area. Patient and resident care was not affected during the situation in which phone lines were redirected through the Minden site.

The Code Grey was declared all clear two days later on Oct. 20. A follow-up debrief was held last week to determine best practices should a similar situation occur again in the future.

Other items of interest

More than 200 rural health hub surveys were received but the survey will continue to be distributed to seek further responses about how where and why health services are accessed locally. Surveys are available in public spaces including grocery stores and churches as well as online.

The Minden Healthcare Auxiliary gift shop was recently restocked and Christmas-themed gifts will be available after Remembrance Day. The Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary open house will be held on Dec. 3 with a bake sale and Christmas ornaments available at the gift shop.

The Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary gala held on Oct. 21 raised $15000 which will be used for a CBC (hematology) analyzer.