Erie St. Clair LHIN CEO, Ralph Ganter, speaks at a funding announcement for the Leamington site on September 28, 2016. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

LHIN Working Towards Fewer Hospital Re-Admissions

Healthcare across Chatham-Kent is getting another boost.

The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is trying to further reduce re-admissions to hospital by improving follow-ups after patients get discharged from Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

Hospitals, doctors, nurses, long term care homes and paramedics in Chatham-Kent have been working together for the past two years to provide a safer and better way to transition patients home.

Ralph Ganter, LHIN CEO, says the LHIN is expanding its vision and goals to better deal with hospital re-admissions.

“If we can prevent a re-admission, that bed is open for another patient and the way the system would experience it is you would see less patients in the emergency department waiting for a bed because you would have better [patient] flow,” says Ganter.

Ganter says the LHIN was performing poorly on re-admissions a few years ago but initiatives like enhanced palliative care and intensive hospital to home have helped.

He says the LHIN has new resources available to get the job done including tools to better deal with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and congestive heart failure.

“Some of the re-admissions that we have around COPD and CHF, there’s a number of different tools that have been put into place to identify patients early and to put more comprehensive care into their homes,” he says.

Ganter says the plan is moving forward but there’s still some work to do.

“Coordinated access clinics so we can get to people with muscular skeletal [problems] earlier. If you can get to them earlier and get them into treatment faster instead of them waiting and deteriorating then going home and coming back to hospital because they have been deconditioned as an example,” Ganter says.