Emergency Department and Alternate Level of Care 

Reducing emergency department wait times and decreasing the time that people spend in hospital beds waiting for alternate levels of care (ALC) is one of the priorities of Central LHIN's Integrated Health Service Plan 2013-2016.

The goals of our emergency department and alternate level of care planning priority aim to:

Alternate Level of Care (ALC)

When patients no longer need acute care in hospitals, they often remain in acute care beds while waiting to be discharged or transferred. They need an alternate level of care such as an appropriate community care setting or home care.
  • Reduce demand on emergency department services
  • Increase capacity and improve emergency department performance
  • Improve access to hospital services by reducing length of time people spend in hospital beds waiting for alternate levels of care

Initiatives to reduce the time people spend waiting in a hospital emergency department by strengthening the capacity of our local health care system are listed below:

Home First

The Home First program has been funded to help older adults return home with the necessary post-hospital supports to safely recover when their acute care hospital treatment is complete. The Home First program is offered in partnership with Central LHIN hospitals and the Local Health Integration Network.

The program has served 3,300 clients since its implementation from September 2009 to March 2014.  In fiscal year 2013-14, Central LHIN funded a total of 200 Home First spots to support 1,343 clients to safely return home after their hospital stay. 72% of these Home First clients remained in the community after receiving enhanced care, thus reducing the need for long-term care.

Transitional Care Beds

Funding has been provided for 103 transitional care beds, which are temporary beds created to assist people who are discharged from the hospital to transition more quickly out of an acute care setting and into a more appropriate level of care. 

Geriatric Emergency Management Nurses

Funding has been provided for Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) nurses across Central LHIN hospitals, to identify high-risk seniors at the emergency department, assess the patient and facilitate access to the appropriate community supports and keep the individual living in the community.

Nurse-Led Long-Term Care Outreach Teams

Nurse-Led Long-Term Care Outreach Teams (NLOT) have been expanded to enhance nursing care at long-term care homes for long-term care residents to have better access to timely, high quality care in their homes, and to minimize avoidable transfers to emergency department and hospital admissions.

Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors Policy

The provincial Assisted Living for High Risk Seniors Policy has been implemented, so that Assisted Living services will be more equitable and accessible by eligible seniors. In fiscal year 2013-14, we invested an additional $5 million to expand Assisted Living Services to 625 more seniors.