A study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) finds that 25 percent of Ontarians who were hospitalized for depression come back to the hospital emergency room, or are readmitted, within 30 days of discharge.
The study team found that nearly one-third of patients did not receive follow-up care in the community after discharge; this was particularly evident for men, older adults in general and for people living in rural communities. This is in contrast to people who are discharged from hospital following a heart attack or heart failure, where 99 percent of them have a follow-up visit with a physician.
Better integration of services, rather than additional resources, is proposed as a means of addressing this issue. The research team observes that health care providers must improve the coordination of care pre and post-discharge in order to avoid future hospital re-admits and ER visits.
A better coordinated system between acute and community care could avoid 14,000 hospital days per year, and save the provincial healthcare budget more than $8 million annually.
See the CAMH news release at www.camh.net.