One of the main challenges for patients residential care facilities across the province is getting timely onsite care. Elderly residents often end up being transferred to the emergency department if their physician cannot be reached. Not only are these trips costly to the system, they put vulnerable patients at risk with increased stress and exposure to infection and other illnesses.
Access to onsite care was just one of the issues facing the nine publicly-funded residential care facilities in the White Rock-South Surrey (WRSS) area. The launch of the residential care prototype in 2011 created the opportunity for the WRSS Division of Family Practice to develop a coordinated, community-wide approach to facility-based medical support. The results have been impressive, with the number of emergency room visits and polypharmacy rates down substantially.