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October 22, 2015

New resource aims to improve care coordination, communication in Saskatchewan health regions

A new resource developed by the province’s Health Quality Council, in partnership with health regions, is intended to help leaders, managers, and point of care staff use a practice called interdisciplinary rounding to ensure Saskatchewan patients are receiving the right care, in the right place, and by the right teams. It is the first module in a new Patient Flow Toolkit being developed as part of the provincial Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative.

In interdisciplinary rounding, health professionals from a variety of health disciplines work together with patients and families to plan and evaluate the patient’s care.  Key rounding activities include summarizing patient health data, identifying patient/family problems, defining goals, identifying interventions, discussing progress toward goals, revising goals and plans as needed, reviewing discharge plans, and clarifying responsibilities.

Kelsey Kevinsen, project and policy consultant for the ED Waits and Patient Flow Initiative says improving coordination and communication is one of the keys to ensuring patients move through their care episode smoothly. “Not only does this practice ensure patients and families are involved in discussions and decisions about care, but it can also reduce delays and improve patient safety, which can improve patient flow across the system. We hope regions find this new resource helpful in implementing team rounding, or for improving how they currently do rounding.”

The new rounding module includes a tool to help care teams assess their current rounding processes, information designed to help care teams decide how best to apply rounding best practices, and templates for standardizing processes and for patient/family information. This new resource also includes case studies of how rounding is already being successfully applied in some Saskatchewan care facilities.

Copies of the rounding module have been distributed to health regions. The module is also available on the HQC website; click on the Care Coordination tab under ED Waits and Patient Flow.