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New Program at QHC aims to Enhance Care for Seniors News Release

Belleville, July 16, 2015 - There is a growing number of frail seniors in the province of Ontario and Quinte Health Care is part of a team of hospitals that have committed to enhance care for seniors and strive to become a more senior friendly hospital.  One of the ways they are doing this is through a new service called Quinte LinkAGE.

Quinte LinkAGE is an outpatient clinic that provides inter-professional, senior friendly assessment, medication review and reconciliation, education and care planning for at risk individuals who are 65 years or older. This pilot program supports people living at home with risks such as frailty, deconditioning and/or multiple chronic comorbidities. This service aims to identify gaps in supports at home and links patients to community services and health resources in an effort to avoid visits to the Emergency Department and hospital admissions for non-medical reasons.

Erin MacKinnon, Occupational Therapist with Quinte LinkAGE said that they would like to see community partners identify and refer vulnerable persons to Quinte LinkAGE before they need to make use of the Emergency Department or before the person gets to the point of needing an admission to hospital. “In many instances, prevention is the key to keeping people healthy and in their homes where they want to be,” she said.  “Our clinic can be an effective prevention tool with the power to directly impact the quality of life of our senior population while making good use of our health care dollars.”

The clinic alternates between QHC Belleville General Hospital (in the Emergency Department, Medical Day Clinic on Quinte 1) and QHC Trenton Memorial Hospital (Day Surgery area).

Quinte LinkAGE team members are: Christina Nugent, South East Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) Coordinator; Erin MacKinnon, Occupational Therapist; and Peet DeVilliers, Pharmacist. Peet said that the disciplines and skills that each team member brings to the table complement each other with respect to being able to formulate a comprehensive care plan with the client and their caregiver. “Each member of the team offers their own expertise with the same goal in mind for the client.”

Patients will participate in a 2 - 2.5 hour assessment with members of the Quinte LinkAGE team. Following the comprehensive assessment, they will receive an individualized service plan which will include links to community supports, programs and organizations, a summary of recommendations (provided to the patient and forwarded to their primary care provider), community service coordination and a scheduled follow up appointment with the patient’s primary care physician or Most Responsible Physician (MRP).

Patients can be referred by their primary care provider in the community, CCAC, Family Health Team, Community Health Centre, nurse practitioner lead clinic, Healthlinks or through another community health service. The referral form is available at www.qhc.on.ca (under Services and Clinics, Quinte LinkAGE). Clinic appointments are available four days per week. Quinte LinkAGE is a partnership between Quinte Health Care and SE CCAC jointly funded through the SE LHIN.

Criteria:

Check the FFACS

F-   FALLS (at risk for)

F-    FUNCTIONAL CHANGE/DECLINE

A-   AGE (OVER 65)*

C-    COGNITIVE CHANGE/DECLINE

S-    SUPPORTS (LIMITED/LACKING)

 

If a patient meets 3 of 5 criteria and is not:

•             A long term care resident

•             Unable to attend an out-patient appointment

•             Receiving end of life care

•             Require intensive monitoring for a medical condition

Upon receiving verbal consent, the completed referral form can be faxed to 613-969-9600

*Please note, patients must be 65 or order. Residents of Long Term Care facilities are not eligible for this service.  Quinte LinkAGE is not an urgent care clinic and team members do not go into the community or carry a caseload (clients are seen once and recommendations are made).  The client is responsible for transportation to and from the hospital.

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Media contact:

Susanne Anderson
Communications Consultant
613-969-7400 x 2677
sanderson@qhc.on.ca