Toronto Central CCAC Wins Highest Honour for Quality in Ontario for its Palliative Program- the Minister's Medal

TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (TC CCAC) is pleased to announce that, together with its partner, the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care, Mount Sinai Hospital, it has won the most prestigious quality award in Ontario: the 2014 Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety for the Toronto Central Integrated Palliative Care Program.

The prestigious award, sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, recognizes novel initiatives that significantly improve quality of care. The theme for the 2014 Minister's Medal is "Quality and Value by Design" with criteria emphasizing the achievement of greater value in the delivery of high-quality care.

The announcement was made at Health Quality Ontario's annual event, Health Quality Transformation in Toronto on November 20, 2014.

Stacey Daub, CEO of Toronto Central CCAC states, "This is first and foremost about making a difference to the clients and caregivers we serve at a time that they need us the most.  It is an immense honour for Toronto Central CCAC and a great recognition for the program, our partners, home palliative care physicians, nurse practitioners and other front-line workers who have made this client-centred program so effective." She continues, "Home care is expanding and improving faster than ever before. The Toronto Central Integrated Palliative Care Program is just one example of the innovations we're testing to serve our clients better."

The Toronto Central Integrated Palliative Care Program creates one interdisciplinary, integrated care team around each palliative client, with a TC CCAC Care Coordinator and palliative homecare physician (from the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care) working closely with them. Dedicated Palliative Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, hospice Volunteer Coordinators, and Personal Support Workers complete the team to provide high quality, 24/7 care. "Our priorities are to give our clients more control over their care and services, ease their pain and suffering, and optimize their comfort, dignity and quality of life," continues Ms. Daub.

The Toronto Central Integrated Palliative Care Program was a quality improvement initiative operating within existing budgets and started with 250 clients. It demonstrated remarkable success for clients, care team members and system-wide value and will be extended to the over 3000 people the Toronto Central CCAC supports to die with dignity at home each year. 

"Clients and families experience one team helping them with their needs. They have more confidence that the care team will be there when they need them, feel less confusion and a reduced burden to repeat their story," Ms. Daub continues. "Care team members work as a single team, which has increased their satisfaction and sense of mutual support to do work which can be emotionally difficult." At the system level, more people die at home, where they prefer to be, and Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations are reduced.

Several innovations were tested to support the integrated care team approach. Daily team 'huddles' are ten-minute teleconferences between team members to discuss changes in client status and urgent needs, and to decide on actions to be taken. These huddles save time, improve communication within the teams and increase efficiency.

Other innovations include a single phone number for clients to reach the team, and an EMS Transfer Package that provides key patient information to first responders, including a number to reach the client's care team. This can avoid Emergency Department visits and hospitalization, or ensure that transitions are smoother for the client and caregivers.

Supporting partners of the Program include Hospice Toronto (visiting hospice volunteers), Spectrum Health Care and Saint Elizabeth Health Care (nursing and personal support providers), and Dorothy Ley Hospice (palliative physicians).  

Last year, Toronto Central CCAC and its multiple partners were recognized as one of ten projects receiving an honourable mention for the 1st Minister's Medal, for ICCP: Integrated Client Care Program, which has laid the foundation for the integrated palliative care model.

About Toronto Central CCAC
Toronto Central CCAC connects people across Toronto with quality in-home and community-based health care. It provides information, direct access to qualified care providers and community-based services to help people come home from hospital or live independently at home. In any given month, Toronto Central CCAC supports more than 19,000 people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds with their care needs in the community.

Image with caption: "Health Minister, Eric Hoskins presents Toronto Central CCAC with highest honour in the province: The Minister's Medal. (CNW Group/Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141120_C6188_PHOTO_EN_8386.jpg

SOURCE: Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre

For further information: Media Contact: Samantha Kemp-Jackson, Phone: (416) 217-3820 Ext: 2713, (647) 290-8135 (cell), samantha.kempjackson@toronto.ccac-ont.ca

RELATED LINKS
www.healthcareathome.ca/torontocentral

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