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New ER Wait Times Funding Will Expand Accountable Care Teams


Health Minister Jim Reiter announced today that a portion of new funding to improve emergency department wait times will be used to expand the innovative Accountable Care model of inpatient care. A new investment of $12 million to improve emergency department wait times was announced in last week’s budget.

“This innovative, team-based model of inpatient care that was successfully introduced here at the Pasqua Hospital will now spread to other hospital wards in Regina and Saskatoon,” Reiter said. “This approach improves safety and helps patients leave hospitals sooner and with less chance of a return visit.”

Patients in the Pasqua’s Accountable Care ward have been able to return home 15 per cent sooner thanks to improved communications among health care teams. The unit also reports reduced mortality, and significant improvements in patient and staff satisfaction.

Hospital-based physicians (hospitalists) work in an interdisciplinary team with nurses, occupational and physical therapists, dietitians, social workers and other staff to meet the needs of patients.

The first step in the transformation to a new model of team-based patient care began with a pilot project at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital in January 2016. A second ward in Regina has adopted this team-based approach, with additional wards making preparations. Saskatoon Health Region is also planning the creation of collaborative teams in its major hospitals, based on what has been learned in Regina.

“In my career as a physician, this has been the most rewarding and effective way of providing medical care,” hospitalist Dr. Joanne McLeod said. “I am proud to be one member of an amazing and co-ordinated team of care providers. Our interactions with each other and with the patients and their families help us to identify all pertinent issues early, while reducing detrimental errors in order to get patients on the road to recovery sooner.”

This team-based collaborative care model is an important step toward relieving pressure on major hospitals, which sometimes don’t have the capacity to admit new patients in a timely way. The health system is committed to making sure Emergency Departments are better able to serve patients with the most pressing medical needs, and can promptly admit patients who need hospitalization.

For More Information:
Shirley Xie
Senior Media Relations Consultant
Ministry of Health
Phone: 306-787-4083
Jenna Webb
Interim Director, Corporate Communications and Medical Media Services
RQHR Communications
Phone: 306-766-0856