PHRI research is at the heart of a joint effort by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) to combat pandemic-related backlog in surgeries at Hamilton, Ontario hospitals.
Between 5,600 to 5,700 non-urgent/non-emergent surgical procedures at HHS and SJHH respectively, during the height of the third wave in Spring 2021, have been postponed.
A virtual ‘command centre – known as the Surgical Transitions program – has been established by perioperative doctors and nurses at HHS and SJHH using remote automated patient monitoring technology trialed in the PVC-RAM-1 study, led by PHRI Senior Scientist PJ Devereaux, a HHS cardiologist and perioperative care physician participating in the program.
Rahima Nenshi, clinical lead for perioperative care and director of acute care surgery at SJHH, notes “it is our goal that the innovative surgical transition program will provide support to post-operative patients as they transition home, simultaneously decreasing the need for returns to the emergency department and hospital readmission.”
Virtual care teams of nurses and doctors
The HHS-SJHH program, which has been running seven days a week, 14 hours a day since March, sends surgical patients home armed with an android tablet and vital-signs devices from Cloud DX.
Each surgical patient also has an assigned “virtual care” team of doctor and nurse. Virtual care nurses conduct video visits and review vital signs, as well as survey results, surgical wound pictures and pain assessments, and making any medication adjustments.
Jennifer Lounsbury, registered nurse and chief of interprofessional practice, oncology, critical care and palliative care at HHS, adds that “having nurses, physicians and surgeons work together to help patients manage virtually after hospital discharge has enormous potential to help deal with the backlog of patients waiting for surgery due to the pandemic which resulted in the delay of a lot of important elective surgery.”
The Greater Hamilton Health Network initiated and supports the Surgical Transitions Remote Patient Monitoring pilot.