THUNDER BAY – Healthbeat – Every day our dedicated Nurse-Led Outreach (NLO) team visits patients where they are most comfortable – at home.
Funded through the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the NLO team delivers care to senior residents staying in long-term care facilities like St. Joseph’s Care Group, Revera Long-Term Care, and city-run homes in Thunder Bay. Not only is this more convenient for the patient, but it also reduces visits to the Emergency Department and admissions to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
“The main objective of the program is to give residents the care they need in the comfort of their own homes – in this case, a long-term care (or ‘nursing’) home. The team provides care in the patient’s home to reduce or eliminate the discomfort and anxiety of an unnecessary trip to the Health Sciences Centre,” said Karen Rybak, Manager of Corporate Utilization and Admitting.
The NLO team is made up of three Nurse Practitioners and a Registered Nurse, who are all passionate about providing quality care to patients living in long-term care homes.
“This service gives back to the people that built our community – seniors. Every day I positively impact the quality of life for this community. I see this as just one way I can thank them for all they have done,” explained Mary-Jane Melita, Nurse Practitioner with the NLO team.
“Care for seniors is different. We try to understand their personal needs and provide care in an environment that is familiar and comfortable with a focus on preventative healthcare,” said Greg Tinsley, Nurse Practitioner. Like Mary-Jane, he is passionate about giving back to seniors.
Through their work, the NLO team builds strong relationships with patients and integrates both the patient and family into the healthcare plan. Patients actively participate in their own care.
“This program allows for earlier diagnosis and treatment, as well as preventative care measures,” explained Glysel Madrigal, Nurse Practitioner with the NLO team. Patients’ healthcare is monitored daily, without having to make a visit to the Health Sciences Centre. The moment a patient feels ill or has a small change in health, an assessment can be made, ultimately resulting in earlier diagnosis and treatment.
Ashley Alliett, Nurse Practitioner with the NLO team, can attest to the value of this program: “We are there every day and can assess patients the moment they have symptoms. We see how well informed our patients are about their own health, but more importantly, we see their true appreciation for the care they receive.”