Local physicians are establishing a new program that partners emergency departments (EDs) in smaller community hospitals with larger hospitals. This program is demonstrating encouraging results.
In the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) physicians Dr. Bill Krizmanich and Dr. Jennifer Everson launched Critical Link in collaboration with chief medical leads at hospitals throughout the HNHB LHIN.
The program “buddies” small community hospitals with medium or large hospitals, and a person who arrives at a small hospital needing care that is not available at that location can be immediately transferred to the partnered hospital. This enables direct ED physician to ED physician discussion, consultation and shorter transfer time.
The first assessment of this new best practice took place in April 2013. Once Critical Link was initiated, it took only eight minutes for a smaller community ED in the HNHB LHIN to link with their “buddy” hospital for a physician to physician discussion. Within 13 minutes the patient was on their way to the “buddy” hospital.
Developed as part of the LHIN’s Strategic Health System Plan and tied to Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, Critical Link was conceived based on feedback from smaller community hospitals regarding the ongoing care of semi-critical patients who do not meet the requirements of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Life and Limb Policy, but who require care that is beyond what may be available in smaller community hospital EDs.
Learn more about the HNHB LHIN Strategic Health System Plan and initiatives underway at the HNHB LHIN at the HNIB LHIN website.