A hospital without walls
Aiming to change how healthcare is delivered across Ontario
(NC) – Many patients return to hospital soon after discharge. These readmissions are usually unexpected and reflect deteriorating health.
Toronto's Virtual Ward (www.virtualward.ca) aims to improve care for these high-risk patients by “admitting” them into a virtual ward after discharge. The Virtual Ward offers short-term, transitional care by an interdisciplinary team made up of doctors, nurses, care coordinators, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.“The Virtual Ward is designed to improve health outcomes for these complex patients,” said Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a general internist at St. Michael's Hospital and founder of the Virtual Ward. “They will be better supported during the weeks after hospital discharge.”The Green Shield Foundation Health Innovation Collaborative (www.gscfoundation.ca), a three-year project aiming to improve senior healthcare, is supporting a randomized control trial to compare the Virtual Ward with regular practice. Enrolment in the trial is now complete and results are expected later this year. Dr. Dhalla and his colleagues at Women's College Hospital and the Community Care Access Centre say that lessons learned from this study are expected to influence how health care is delivered across Ontario.www.newscanada.com
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Photo credit: Dr. Mark Nowaczynski of SPRINT Senior Care, HouseCalls
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