Home First is a philosophy, a shift in thinking where the focus is on discharging elderly patients home after an acute episode in hospital instead of assuming that a long-term-care home is the only option. By going home with the necessary community supports and taking time to understand the implications of a move to a long-term care home, elderly patients and their families are in a better position to judge what's best for them.
Home First provides patients with an appropriate level of care in the comfort of their own home. It includes services such as community care access centres (e.g. nursing and personal support), community support (e.g. adult day programs, assisted living), and convalescent care beds.
The Home First philosophy put the needs of the patient at the centre of the health care system, to proactively consider options for post-acute care, focusing on providing the right care at the right time in the right place.
Home First has also improved the flow of patients through hospitals, reduced the number of unnecessary emergency room visits and reduced the strain on the system. This program has been so successful that the province's 14 LHINs are all partnering with their respective CCACs to further implement the Home First initiative across Ontario. For more information about this innovative program visit your local LHIN or CCAC.
Between July 2010 and March 2011, Home First was launched by the Champlain CCAC in all acute-care hospitals in the Champlain region. Since then, Home First is becoming increasingly embedded as standard practice.
In 2013 the Champlain CCAC has seen a reduction of alternate level of care numbers across the system, including more appropriate placements of clients to long-term care. The rates for the Cornwall Community Hospital have dropped more than 50 per cent. The program is a demonstration of community and hospitals working together to best meet the patient's needs.
Read the Cornwall Community Hospital news release on Home First
Watch the Home First video by Champlain CCAC
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