Thursday July 14, 2011


Health News

Home Is Where The Health Is

FHA reducing hospitalization times for seniors

Released by Naseem Nuraney, FHA


raser Health is enhancing its home health services to help seniors stay healthy in their own homes for longer, return home after a hospital stay as soon as possible, and prevent admission to hospital or residential care until necessary.

Home is generally the best place to recover from an illness and manage long-term conditions, while receiving appropriate health care supports. Home provides patients with a familiar environment, away from busy hospital routines and decreases the risk of exposure to secondary illness and infection.

"Home Is Best" is a system-wide approach to health care involving home health staff, hospital nurses, physicians, and home and community health workers working together to improve a senior's journey across the health care system, starting with a hospital stay and ending with discharge to the most appropriate destination - whether that is rehabilitation, convalescent care, home with support, assisted living or residential care.

Under the "Home Is Best" umbrella, patients who no longer need to be in hospital are supported to safely return home to recover, or wait for placement in residential care or other options. Not only is this approach best for seniors, who tell us they wish to stay in their homes as long as possible, but it also benefits the health care system by improving the flow of patients, residents and clients across the system and making the best and most appropriate use of existing hospital and residential care capacity. It will reduce wait times for residential care and free up hospital beds for acutely ill patients.

Combined, these efforts will reduce the number of patients unnecessarily waiting in hospital, decrease the length of a hospital stay, reduce or delay admissions to residential care, and reduce emergency department visits.

Several initiatives to support transitions between hospital and community have been introduced in 2011 in support of this overarching "Home is Best" philosophy. Fraser Health has hired more Home Health staff to help coordinate discharges from hospital to home, and is hiring more home support workers in the community.

Fraser Health has also produced a video/DVD to inform seniors - as well as their loved ones and health care practitioners - how they can be supported to stay at home, and delay, or perhaps avoid entirely, moving to a residential care facility.

Through the experiences of two Home Health clients, the video brings to life the "Home is Best" philosophy that Fraser Health is pioneering in BC. According to this philosophy, home, not hospital or residential care, is the best place to continue to recover from an illness or injury, manage long-term conditions, and live out final days.
In addition to the video, Fraser Health has also created two written guides available for download from the Fraser Health website. Let's Get You Home addresses the needs of hospital patients and their loved ones who are exploring home care support options. Let's Keep You Home will help clients in the community to stay home as long as possible.

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