Trillium Health Partners (THP) and SE Health (SE), were awarded the 2018 Minister’s Medal honouring excellence in health quality and safety. They were recognized for their innovative cardiac program, known as Putting Patients at the Heart (PPATH).

The Minister’s Medal is Ontario’s most prestigious quality award, recognizing only three initiatives annually across the province. The award recipients are health care providers who have gone above and beyond to improve care for patients and families. This year’s theme, Innovating Integration, honours innovative initiatives undertaken that look to achieve better experiences for patients and providers, as well as better health outcomes with better value in health care delivery.

“Trillium Health Partners is honoured to be awarded the 2018 Minister’s Medal with our partner SE Health,” said Michelle DiEmanuele, Trillium Health Partners president and CEO. “We believe in the power of teamwork and that partnerships create better health outcomes and experiences by bridging gaps inside and outside of the hospital, while increasing capacity to meet the growing demands of our community.”

PPATH redesigned the care journey for cardiac surgery patients by streamlining and simplifying access to follow-up care for patients, allowing them to return home sooner and with better supports. The program brings together the hospital and home care, who act as one team providing seamless service to the patient and have the ability to share health information through a shared electronic health record. A dedicated 24 hour, seven day a week support line helps patients get timely answers to their questions after surgery without the need to visit their doctor or the emergency department. Patients are also supported by a community nurse, who can visit them at home to assess any symptoms or concerns and recommend next steps.

The innovative partnership program provides patients with high-quality care and an improved experience, while increasing hospital capacity and lowering heath system costs by reducing the
length of stay. Patients in the PPATH program are able to return home, on average, one day sooner following heart surgery. In addition to supporting patients’ choice to recover at home, that frees up three hospital beds annually and creates better access to inpatient hospital care for patients who need it.

“I was scared when I first left the hospital five days after open heart surgery, but I was so glad when I was home the second day,” said Claire Scott, PPATH program patient. “I still felt like I was in the hospital, I had so much help. The nurses supported me every step of the way through the PPATH program. I had done so well that at the end of the third week they said, ‘I don’t think you need us here anymore’ and they were right, I didn’t.”

PPATH resulted in a reduction in post-surgery emergency department visits by 33 per cent and hospital re-admission rates by 25 per cent. Health system savings of $1.7 million were achieved over two years and 3.5 times more patients received community care. Patients report 96 per cent satisfaction with the program and 98 per cent would recommend the program to family and friends.

In addition to receiving this year’s Minister’s Medal, the program has been recognized across Canada.

 

Photo: Trillium Health Partner and SE Health, were awarded the 2018 Minister’s Medal honouring excellence in health quality and safety. They were recognized for their innovative cardiac program, known as Putting Patients at the Heart (PPATH). Photo courtesy of Roger Yip.