Lori Noyes, director of acute care at the Lloydminster Hospital, teamed up with Dr. Kevin Govender to explain the new Connected Care or hospitalist system to the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society on Tuesday at the Legacy Centre. The new multi-disciplinary system takes effect on Nov. 8. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
Ask and you shall receive.
The Lloydminster Concerned Citizens Seniors Care Society is getting the answers they want from Prairie North Health Region, about a new Connected Care or hospitalist system the Lloydminster Hospital is rolling out on Nov. 8.
“I think the level of anxiety has gone down a bit,” said Graham Brown, chair of the seniors’ group, after hospital chief of staff Dr. Kevin Govender and director of acute care, Lori Noyes met with the group on Tuesday at the Legacy Centre.
The hospital spokespersons were there to repeat what they recently told the Source about the benefits the hospitalist system will have on the care of all patients who are admitted.
Govender said the hospital is moving to a system of 10-12 hospitalists or hospital-based physicians, that will lead two teams to assume all patient care duties for one-week shifts.
The team approach involves specialists, GPs, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, dietitians, social workers, hearing and speech professionals and long-term care.
“So all medical and allied medical disciplines will be involved in caring for a patient on a daily basis in a very coordinated way,” said Govender.
He said the benefit is that everybody on the team knows exactly what’s going on with that patient at that moment in time.
“It enables us to do things in a better way,” he said with more efficiencies.
The Q and A session held at the Legacy Centre was in response to a news conference the seniors group held at their latest meeting on Oct. 25.
They wanted to know what will happen with their care under the Connected Care system with a hospitalist taking over all admitting privileges from general practitioners.
“The big concern that comes from our group is the long relationships we’ve got with our doctors and how can that be utilized in the care,” said Graham Brown at that time.
“To just stop that and go to different doctors, the anxiety level goes way up for any of our members.”
Graham said seniors are thinking it might be a good program, but their big concern is that relationship that a lot of the seniors already have with their GP.
“If they are planning to do this in such a way that they utilize that relationship, then that should be a big plus,” he said.
Govender said the Connected Care system will give a GP an opportunity to spend more time with their patients in the private care setting, in keeping with their role to provide primary care.
“Hospital care should not be part of what a general practitioner does,” he said, noting the vast majority of Lloydminster physicians favour the Connected Care or hospitalist model.
“The bottom line is that it definitely does improve patient care in a significant way.”
In an email provided by the hospital, one unnamed physician wrote, “The existing model of care at Lloydminster Hospital was not chosen because it was the best system.
“....If we want to pursue excellence, we must be willing to question our defaults and explore better options.”
He went to say that every patient deserves to have a multi-disciplinary team at their bedside instead of a lone doctor on the outside.
The seniors group has sent letters to Prairie North CEO David Fan and to Border City provincial MLAs asking where this idea came from, and if it’s something the hospital has just decided to do internally.
“Are they going to work with my doctor; are they going to let my doctor come and give them information —is there any sharing of records?” asked Graham.
Noyes, who is helping Govender to implement the system, said Connected Care is a provincial initiative and the hospital is following the province’s strategic vision for hospital care in Saskatchewan.
“As we adopt this system, it is more team-based, which is fantastic because it provides better care and better outcomes,” said Noyes.
She said it’s based on clinical research and is evidence-based with proven decreased mortality, better outcomes, decreased length of stay for patients.
“When you work as an interdisciplinary team, that team-based approach is like a meeting of minds everyday working on patient care, so that nothing ever gets missed,” said Noyes.
“When a patient is admitted, we recognize how valuable the GP is in the patient’s care—we never want to limit access to that family physician.”
She said the communication between the hospital and the family physician will be good and the GP is allowed to visit their patients to offer support.
Govender noted that when physicians get older they often give up their admitting privileges to reduce their pre-retirement workload in a hospital.
“So what happens to the population of seniors who no longer have a family physicians to look after them in the hospital?” asked Govender, who said one doctor can have more than 6,000 patients.
The answer he said is the multi-disciplinary teams led by hospitalists to admit patients and provide 24/7 care.