Halton Healthcare Launches COVID Care at Home

By: Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative
Halton Healthcare has launched a 12-week COVID Care at home program.  The initiative started during the third wave of COVID19 encompasses hospitals in Oakville, Milton, and Georgetown.
Prior to discharge, patients meet with their healthcare team to review their care plan, and set up enhanced support services including nursing, personal care workers, physiotherapy or social work.  The services are provided through the Mississauga-Halton Home and Community Care.  Because many are sent home on oxygen, patients are provided with an oximeter to monitor oxygen levels.  “They are instructed to know at which point they need to seek medical attention and who to call if their oxygen levels start to fall.  This can be very reassuring.  It gives patients a great sense of security in managing their care.  Respirologist Dr. Laurence Chau said.  Chau is also Chief of Medicine at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.
A rapid response nurse  from Mississauga-Halton Home and  Community Care Services assesses the patient in their home and monitors the patient.  They work in partnership with program staff who remotely monitor patients.  Ishan was hospitalized for 8 days with COVID-19 was pleased with the follow-up care.  “The hospital team, especially from the REspirology Department, is still constantly checking up on me, and my case manager has been incredibly thorough.  She arranged my physiotherapy services and helped me move up my appointment with the Respirology doctor.  I am actually blown away by all the care and support,” he said.
The program has extended Halton Healthcare’s reach, and allowed it to maintain bed capacity. “This program has turned out to be a win-win all round.  It has helped Halton Healtcare maintain its bed capacity while ensuring we can discharge these patients safely, Chau said.  The Region of Halton lists Acute Care Occupancy at 63%, while ICU sits at 74% occupied.  There are seven confirmed patients with COVID-19 in Halton hospitals, with 12 in ICU.  These stats are current as of June 23, 2021.  The Region updates its COVID-19 dashboard from Monday-Friday between 12pm and 2pm.