The Integrated Comprehensive Care (ICC) Program is a patient-centred model of care that links hospital and community care services. It was first launched by St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton in 2012, followed by St. Mary’s in 2013. The program transitioned from St. Joseph’s Home Care in November 2017 to partner with the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network. The ICC program offers:
- Smoother transitions from hospital to home
- Education to help patients manage their care
- Better communication between care providers
At St. Mary’s, the ICC program will be expanding the patient groups it serves. It began by offering care to patients who:
- Have undergone cardiac, lung and esophagectomy surgeries
- Have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Have Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
How the ICC Program Helps Patients
One Person Coordinates Care
Integrated care coordinators help patients navigate every step of their healthcare journey in hospital and after they go home. The coordinator is a connection point with family doctors, nurse practitioners, specialists and community services. Coordinators work on behalf of patients to ensure timely communication and care.
24/7 Access to Care
Team members have access to patients’ electronic health records. The nursing team, which is available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, can use this record to provide informed advice and support to patients.
In addition to their care coordinator, patients in the ICC program are supported by a community care team which may include:
- Personal Support Workers
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech language pathologists
- Respiratory therapists
- Social workers
ICC provides the right care in the right place. The program allows patients to receive quality, cost-effective care in a well-organized way. Patients spend less time in hospital and are less likely to return to the Emergency Department or be readmitted. Patients are less anxious about going home from hospital and feel well supported by the team once they return home.
Cardiac, Lung or Esophagectomy Surgery
These patients will be connected to their care coordinator either prior to surgery or one to two days after surgery.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or Congestive Heart Failure
Patients with COPD or CHF will be referred to the ICC program by the healthcare team while in hospital. The care coordinator works with the patient and family, as well as the healthcare team, to coordinate the plan of care from hospital to community.