After the Accountable Care Unit pilot project was deemed a success, the province is expanding it to decrease wait times in emergency rooms.
The project was set up last year at the Pasqua Hospital. It’s a team-based approach where there’s always two doctors on shift. One with 18 beds and one with 17, in the unit during the day with the nurses and patients. There are also doctors always on-call in the evenings.
The program is being expanded with a unit being set up at Regina’s General Hospital and in Saskatoon.
“It’s shown that patients get out of the hospital quicker, get back home quicker which obviously frees up more bed for more patients, morbidity rates are down, it’s just shown to be very successful,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.
Four to five million dollars will go towards expanding the units. The money is coming from $12 million that was announced to improve emergency department wait times.
One of the main reasons the unit has been so successful is the communication between the doctors, nurses and patients.
“They’re fully aware of their care, what their plan is and how they’re going to get home,” said Stef Ward, a nurse in the unit.
The model is designed to get patients in and out quickly and allowing beds to be open.
The province has set a goal to reduce wait times by 60 per cent in 2019.