Windsor area pioneers telehealth for stroke recovery
January 4, 2017
WINDSOR, Ont. – The Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) is working with Windsor Regional Hospital to pilot a new service delivery model called eRehab. This model supports community rehabilitation for mild and moderate stroke patients when they are safely able to leave hospital.
Leveraging the eShift technology platform developed by Sensory Technologies, eRehab is built around an interprofessional team that places specialized therapy technicians in the home under the guidance of a directing therapist from a remote location. The therapist is able to provide real-time direction to several technicians at once with the use of Sensory Tech’s electronic health tools.
The team is rounded out by Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Clinical Care Coordinators, Dieticians, Social Workers and Registered Nurses.
“The eRehab model has been developed through comprehensive discussions to answer the question, ‘how might we best implement recommendations from the Quality Based Procedures: Clinical Handbook for Stroke within our existing funding structure,’” said Barb Frayne with the CCAC. Frayne is director of professional practice, education & processes, and leads the eRehab project.
“This model is intended to provide a better patient experience by providing virtual subject expertise and appropriate volume of hands-on service throughout the recovery phase,” Frayne said. “It is delivered in the comfort of the patients’ homes.”
The pilot program will support 100 patients as they transition from acute care to home. Saint Elizabeth Home Care has been contracted through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to provide all of the in-home technician and directing therapist services.
The eRehab pilot will be launched in early 2017 and will also measure the time for first home visit to occur and avoidable hospital readmission rates.
“The eRehab project is a significant opportunity for the community, potential stroke patients and families of Windsor and Essex County. Whenever there is the common goal of improving patient care, shared with a number of organizations and healthcare providers, it is the ‘Windsor Way’ of working together to make the goal a reality,” said Karen McCullough (pictured), vice president, acute care and chief nursing officer, Windsor Regional Hospital.
McCullough went on to say, “the use of technology, in this case, Sensory Technologies, provides a proven platform to ensure that the care and the support required for the patients in their home is in place and meets their needs.
“In addition, the technology was designed to support both real-time collaboration and communication between all members of the care team and patients, along with serving the electronic medical record process,” said McCullough. “Windsor Regional Hospital is pleased and honored to be part of this leading edge model of care delivery.”
The eRehab model is based on the CCAC’s eShift program which launched in late 2015, providing palliative care patients with in-home overnight shifts by Health Care Technicians (specialized personal support workers) under the direction of a nurse from a remote location through the use of tools developed by Sensory Technologies.
These tools have successfully supported thousands of hours of palliative and paediatric care across North America and Europe. This eRehab model will be the first to use these tools within the stroke population.
“We are expecting eRehab to result in several improved outcomes for patients, the community and the healthcare system,” said Frayne. “Patients get to come home sooner with enhanced therapy in a setting they prefer and where they can best recover. This results in reduced length of stay in hospital and leads to improved system flow by freeing up beds for other acute care needs.”
“We are excited to see Ontario building on the seven years of positive experience with eShift” said Andrew Matthews, vice president of sensory technologies, “This project has the attention of our international clients as it will utilize eShift’s consult module to engage expert clinicians in an innovative way which is applicable to numerous complex care patient situations.”