Homelessness is a social condition increasing in frequency and severity across Canada. Interventions to end and prevent homelessness include effective case management in addition to an affordable housing provision. Little standardization exists for service providers to guide their decision making in developing and maintaining effective case management programs. The purpose of this 2-part article is to articulate dimensions of promising practice for case managers working in a "Housing First" context. Part 1 discusses research processes and findings and part-2 articulates the 6 Dimensions of Quality.
Practice settings include community-based organizations that employ and support case managers whose primary role is moving people from homelessness into permanent housing.
Six dimensions of promising practice are critically important to reducing barriers, improving sector collaboration, and ensuring case managers have appropriate and effective training and support. Dimensions of promising practice are: (1) collaboration and cooperation-a true team approach; (2) right matching of services-person-centered; (3) contextual case management-culture and flexibility; (4) the right kind of engagement-relationships and advocacy; (5) coordinated and well managed system-ethics and communication; and (6) evaluation for success-support and training.
Effective, coordinated case management, in addition to permanent affordable housing has the potential to reduce a person or family's homelessness permanently. Organizations and professionals working in this context have the opportunity to improve processes, reduce burnout, collaborate and standardize, and most importantly, efficiently and permanently end someone's homelessness with the help of dimensions of quality for case management.
Starting in 2015, the Swedish government has initiated a national reform to standardize cancer patient pathways and thereby eventually speed up treatment of cancer. Cancer care in Sweden is characterized by high survival rates and a generally high quality albeit long waiting times. The objective with the new national program to standardize cancer care pathways is to reduce these waiting times, increase patient satisfaction with cancer care and reduce regional inequalities. A new time-point for measuring the start of a care process is introduced called well-founded suspicion, which is individually designed for each cancer diagnosis. While medical guidelines are well established earlier, the standardisation is achieved by defining time boundaries for each step in the process. The cancer reform program is a collaborative effort initiated and incentivized by the central government while multi-professional groups develop the time-bound standardized care pathways, which the regional authorities are responsible for implementing. The broad stakeholder engagement and time-bound guidelines are interesting approaches to study for other countries that need to streamline care processes.
A trend toward the reduction in the length of hospital stays has been widely observed. This increasing shift is particularly evident in perinatal care. A stay of less than 48 hours after delivery has been shown to have no negative effects on the health of either the mother or the baby as long as they receive an adequate follow-up. This implies a close integration between hospital and community health services. The present article addresses the following questions: To what extent are postnatal services accessible to mothers and neonates? Are postnatal services in the community in continuity with those of the hospital? Are the services provided by the appropriate source of care? The authors conducted a telephone survey among 1158 mothers in a large urban area in the province of Quebec, Canada. The results were compared to clinical guidelines widely recognised by professionals. The results show serious discrepancies with these guidelines. The authors found a low accessibility to services: less than half of the mothers received a home visit by a nurse. In terms of continuity of care, less than 10% of the mothers received a follow-up telephone call within the recommended time frame and only 18% benefited from a home visit within the recommended period. Finally, despite guidelines to the contrary, hospitals continue to intervene after discharge. This results in a duplication of services for 44.7% of the new-borns. On the other hand, 40.7% are not seen in the recommended period after hospital discharge at all. These results raise concerns about the integration of services between agencies. Following earlier work, the present authors have grouped explanatory factors under four dimensions: the strategic dimension, particularly leadership; the structural dimension, including the size of the network; the technological dimension, with respect to information transmission system; and the cultural dimension, which concerns the collaboration process and the development of relationships based on trust.
To study people's views on the accessibility and continuity of primary medical care provided by different providers: a public primary healthcare centre (PPHC), occupational healthcare (OHC), and a private practice (PP).
A nationwide population-based questionnaire study.
A total of 6437 (from a sample of 10,000) Finns aged 15-74 years.
Period of time (in days) to get an appointment with any physician was assessed via a single structured question. Accessibility and continuity were evaluated with a five-category Likert scale. Values 4-5 were regarded as good.
Altogether 72% had found that they could obtain an appointment with a physician within three days, while 6% had to wait more than two weeks. Older subjects and subjects with chronic diseases perceived waiting times as longer more often than younger subjects and those without chronic diseases. The proportion of subjects who perceived access to care to be good was 35% in a PPHC, 68% in OHC, and 78% in a PP. The proportion of subjects who were able to get successive appointments with the same doctor was 45% in a PPHC, 68% in OHC, and 81% in a PP. A personal doctor system was related to good continuity and access in a PPHC.
Access to and continuity of care in Finland are suboptimal for people suffering from chronic diseases. The core features of good primary healthcare are still not available within the medical care provided by public health centres.
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People of South-Asian origin have an increased prevalence of coronary artery disease. Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is effective, South Asians are among the least likely people to participate in these programs. Automatic referral increases CR use and may reduce access inequalities. This study qualitatively explored whether CR referral knowledge and access varied among South-Asian patients. Participants were South-Asian cardiac patients receiving treatment at hospitals in Ontario, Canada. Each hospital refers to CR via one offour methods: automatically through paper or electronically, through discussion with allied health professionals (liaison referral), or through referral at the physician's discretion. Data were collected via interviews and analyzed using interpretive-descriptive analysis. Four themes emerged: the importance of predischarge CR discussions with healthcare providers, limited knowledge of CR, ease of the referral process for facilitators of CR attendance, and participants'needs for personal autonomy regarding their decision to attend CR. Liaison referral was perceived to be the most suitable referral method for participants. It facilitated communication between patients and providers, ensuring improved understanding of CR. Automatic referral may not be as well suited to this population because of reduced patient-provider communication.
The Canadian Cardiology Society recommends that patients should be seen within 2 weeks after an emergency department (ED) visit for heart failure (HF). We sought to investigate whether patients who had an ED visit for HF subsequently consult a physician within the current established benchmark, to explore factors related to physician consultation, and to examine whether delay in consultation is associated with adverse events (AEs) (death, hospitalization, or repeat ED visit).
Patients were recruited by nurses at 8 hospital EDs in Québec, Canada, and interviewed by telephone within 6 weeks of discharge and subsequently at 3 and 6 months. Clinical variables were extracted from medical charts by nurses. We used Cox regression in the analysis.
We enrolled 410 patients (mean age 74.9 ± 11.1 years, 53% males) with a confirmed primary diagnosis of HF. Only 30% consulted with a physician within 2 weeks post-ED visit. By 4 weeks, 51% consulted a physician. Over the 6-month follow-up, 26% returned to the ED, 25% were hospitalized, and 9% died. Patients who were followed up within 4 weeks were more likely to be older and have higher education and a worse quality of life. Patients who consulted a physician within 4 weeks of ED discharge had a lower risk of AEs (hazard ratio 0.59, 95% CI 0.35-0.99).
Prompt follow-up post-ED visit for HF is associated with lower risk for major AEs. Therefore, adherence to current HF guideline benchmarks for timely follow-up post-ED visit is crucial.