Pilot project at RVH to provide faster access to diagnostic services for LTC residents

Ontario says increased access includes assessment, diagnostic testing, and timely interpretation of results

Long-term care residents will be provided faster and more convenient access to diagnostic services such as x-rays and ultrasounds through Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), says the province.

On Tuesday, Ontario announced two pilot projects, in partnership with RVH and Humber River Hospital in Toronto, aimed to offer the services.

Per a release, the province says increased access includes assessment, diagnostic testing, and timely interpretation of results.

Enhanced services offered through RVH:

  • Increasing access to x-ray services for long-term care residents who fall and require a non-urgent x-ray;
  • Access to a nurse navigator at the hospital to support the long-term care resident to navigate services; and
  • Non-urgent resident transport for x-ray services at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.

Enhanced services offered through Humber River Hospital:

  • Increasing the number of hours for pre-booked appointments for x-ray and ultrasound services;
  • Non-urgent resident transport for x-ray and ultrasound services at Humber River Hospital; and
  • Increasing the number of hours a long-term care home can connect with a nurse navigator that supports long-term care homes with needs assessments and coordinating with other health care teams.

Provincial officials say this improved access will “reduce avoidable emergency department visits or hospital stays.”

“This partnership is critical to ensuring residents in our area long-term care homes are getting the care they need in a timely manner,” Nancy Savage, RVH Executive Vice President and Clinical & Regional Vice President, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), stated in the release.

“By getting these vulnerable patients access to diagnostic imaging studies in a more streamlined manner, we are able to provide a better patient experience for long-term care residents in our region.”

According to the province, $350,000 and $1,875,000 will initially be invested annually over the next two years in the two initiatives.

Officials say the next step is to create a broader provincial plan to provide this quick and convenient access for long-term care residents across Ontario. In the release, they suggest that this could include connecting residents with services inside long-term care homes, instead of travelling to a hospital or clinic.

“Ontario is fixing long-term care so that every resident experiences the best possible quality of life, supported by safe, high-quality care,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “By providing faster and more convenient access to diagnostic services, we will reduce the number of avoidable emergency department visits and in-patient hospital admissions.”

Banner image – file photo – Barrie 360