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Elderly care model that cuts hospital time shared with 18 health groups

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A strategy developed by Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital that has cut older patients’ hospital times by one-quarter is being shared with 18 other health care organizations.

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement announced Thursday the Acute Care for Elders Strategy is being adopted by hospital groups in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Quebec and Iceland.

The model created by Mount Sinai co-ordinates care for patients 65 and older from emergency department to inpatient, ambulatory and community care settings.

In addition to reducing patient stays, the foundation said the strategy cut readmission rates by 14 per cent and saved Mount Sinai $6.7 million in 2014.

According to the foundation elderly patients represent just 16 per cent of the population but 42 per cent of those hospitalized and 60 per cent of hospital-related spending.

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The number of people over 65 is set to double in the next two decades.

“The challenge for us is how to age well, how to ensure that our lives continue to be meaningful and happy and healthy and productive as we age. That’s what today’s announcement is all about,” federal Health Minister Jane Philpott said.

“The future of care is not just what we do in the hospital, but it’s actually thinking about all the areas of the continuum that we can bring together: our partners in medicine, psychiatry, nursing, the emergency department, but also the community,” said Dr. Samir K. Sinha, director of geriatrics at Sinai Health System, who lead the ACE strategy.