Many Saskatchewan patients are still in hospital after they no longer require the intensity of service provided in this care setting. Often these patients remain in hospital because the type of care they do need is not available. This is one of several factors contributing to long waits in emergency departments.
Over the past year a team involved with the provincial Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative has developed a standard definition for these Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients, which has been endorsed by all health regions. The group also created tools for collecting information about these patients; this information will be used to make decisions about how best to align, design, or adapt community services to better meet their care needs.
The Health Quality Council has distributed this new information to health regions as part of the second module in the Patient Flow Toolkit. The ALC module is designed to help leaders, managers, physicians, and point-of-care staff better understand alternate level of care, and support them in gathering data on this patient population. The module also includes education materials for explaining the changes to patients and their families.
The ALC module is available on the HQC website: Click on the Alternate Level of Care tab under ED Waits and Patient Flow.
For more information about the ALC module, please contact the ED Waits and Patient Flow Initiative by telephone (306-668-8810 ext 108) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).