Saskatchewan’s Connected Care Strategy
Saskatchewan’s Connected Care Strategy is about improving team-based care in hospital and community settings and improving the way we communicate with patients and providers when patients move between these settings. The Connected Care Strategy, which encompasses Health Networks, evolved out of the Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative and was embedded in health system planning.
Research has proven that wait times in Emergency are, in fact, a symptom of congestion elsewhere in the health care system. Many patients remain in hospital after they’re ready to be discharged because the services or supports they need are not readily available in the community. By using computer modelling to “virtually” test various possible interventions to improve flow, HQC determined the best solution is to enhance safe, efficient transitions out of the hospital. Fundamental to these transitions are strong teams in both hospital and community settings.
From 2016 to 2018 HQC worked with its health system partners to apply this evidence, through an approach called Connected Care.
Connected Care has three key components:
- Connected Hospital Care: Research shows that hospital patients who receive team-based, collaborative care experience better care coordination, shorter lengths of stay, improved health outcomes, and higher satisfaction. One example of this team-based approach to care is called an Accountable Care Unit (ACU).
- Connected Community Care: Community based teams work collaboratively to prevent admissions to the hospital, prevent premature admissions into Long Term Care, help patients have more timely discharge from the hospital, and maximize the time patients can live independently in their homes. Patients are supported to manage their care in the community, and will be admitted to hospital only when they need this level of service.
- High-Quality Care Transitions: An evidence-informed approach to ensuring patients, and their relevant information, are transitioned safely and seamlessly across all care settings. Improved transitions between the community and hospital will help patients regain independence and reduce the number of hospital readmissions, and help ensure people get the right health care, from the right providers, at the right time in the right location.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority now coordinates this work through their Strategy & Innovation portfolio. For more information about Connected Care and for a current contact, please visit the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s website.