On Sunday, December 10, North York General Hospital (NYGH) transferred 24 patients to the newly opened Reactivation Care Centre (RCC), located at the former Humber River Hospital Finch site, 2111 Finch Avenue West. The culmination of months of careful planning, the RCC is an innovative and collaborative approach to patient care.
“At North York General, our mission is to provide exceptional health care to our diverse communities,” says Susan Woollard, Program Director of Medicine, Critical Care and Elder Care at NYGH and the hospital's lead for the RCC initiative. “To achieve this, we need to optimize our health system's collective strengths and resources. The RCC is one of the ways we are enhancing our bed capacity to provide exceptional patient- and family-centred care.”
A collaborative between the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), North York General and four other hospitals, the RCC is designed to care for patients who no longer require an acute care hospital, but who need specialized care to support the transition to home, or other facilities such as a rehabilitation centre, convalescent care or a long-term care home. Each hospital has their own respective unit in the newly renovated building, complete with communal dining rooms and planned activities.
“Not only does the RCC provide specialized care to optimize a patient's strengths and abilities, but it also enhances access to care at our General site,” Susan says. “This new facility has provided us with 30 additional beds to manage patient flow.”
Still, creating what is essentially a new North York General unit was an exciting opportunity. A hospital-wide planning taskforce, including teams from across the hospital and LHIN, met regularly during the months leading up to the transfer. “The collaboration required to create a new unit, on top of our busy day-to-day operations, I believe is one of our greatest strengths at North York General,” Susan says. “We know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The strong teamwork was evident the morning of the transfer of 24 patients. Beginning at 8 a.m. sharp, each patient boarded their medical transportation vehicle exactly seven minutes apart. By 11:24 a.m., the transfer was complete, timed to precision. The patient's families were also included in planning so members were able to join the patients as soon as they settled in. Some patients had their families accompany them in the ambulance to alleviate any fear or stress during the transfer and settling into the new unit.
“Our goal was to ensure a safe, comfortable and quick transition for our patients and we accomplished that,” says Vinothini Vijayaratnam, Clinical Team Manager of the RCC.
One of these patients included 91-year-old Mr. C*, who transferred to the RCC after several months at the hospital's General site. While he only has vague memories of the transfer, he does remember his initial impression of the new location. “The rooms were certainly much brighter and it was far more open,” he recalls. “It was a nice welcome.”
Other memories of his time thus far at RCC are more vivid – including the time his family joined him for a Christmas celebration. “We were able to go downstairs to the main lobby,” he says. “There's a piano there and my daughter played Christmas carols. It was certainly a highlight.”
Still, for Mr. C, it's not just about the spacious room that he shares with another person or the tailored, specialized therapy. “The room is nice, but for me it's more about the people around me,” Mr. C. says. “I have to say that the staff at both sites are marvellous. They have all been very efficient, kind and courteous as well as encouraging.”
*Mr. C has elected to be identified by only his last initial.
Find out more about NYGH's unit at the Reactivation Care Centre and access a brochure.
NYGH's strategy: The Reactivation Care Centre supports NYGH's strategic pillar to Deliver High Quality, Safe and Accessible Care. Learn more about our strategy.