North York Mirror
A nurse has brought together health care practitioners in an effort to improve services for ambulatory care patients.
Denyse Henry, a Scarborough resident and patient care manager at Sunnybrook hospital, established the Canadian Association of Ambulatory Care in March.
Recently, the organization held its first conference in Scarborough. About 150 health care practitioners attended.
Ambulatory care is when medical treatment is delivered on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient doesn’t stay in a hospital overnight.
“We all know that services in ambulatory care settings has now become the preferred standard for care. It is primarily driven by advances in research and practices,” Henry told conference attendees.
“Providing services on an ambulatory basis when indicated is better both physically and emotionally for our patients, and of course it is also more cost effective on the healthcare system.”
Henry said she established the CAAC to “bring a stronger voice to ambulatory patient care.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Jocelyn Charles stressed healthcare providers need to communicate with each other to ensure patients’ information is transmitted effectively from one provider to another.
“As we move more and more care out to the ambulatory care setting, patients move from clinic to clinic, and if those clinics don’t co-ordinate with each other and talk to each other, patients can slip through the cracks,” she said in an interview. “There’s no standard of what needs to be communicated and the timeliness of that communication, so we need to develop that.”
Sunnybrook hospital recently established an e-discharge program where a summary of what happened in hospital, including medication changes, is sent to the patient’s family physician right after discharge.
“That’s an improvement over the traditional way which is the physician discharging the patient dictates a summary letter that gets typed and then sent to the family doctor,” Charles said. “So I can receive a discharge summary anywhere from the same day to six months later. And if a patient needs care, that needs to be done in a timely manner. I believe it should be done within the first 24 or 48 hours.”
The conference was held at the Delta Toronto East hotel on Kennedy Road.