Rapid Response Nurses Provide Extra Care to Keep Frail Elderly Safe

Information posted April, 19, 2013






For many frail seniors, each time they leave the hospital, chances are they will be re-admitted within 30 days.  To alleviate this situation the Mississauga Halton CCAC has hired Rapid Response Nurses (RRNs) to care for high-risk patients with complicated clinical care needs by providing intensive support as they move from hospital to home. 

Mississauga Halton CCAC CEO, Caroline Brereton explains the importance of this new role.  “For our frail elderly patients, leaving hospital often means a return visit. This is not healthy for them, or for our health system.  We recognize some of our patients with COPD, pneumonia and congestive heart failure need more constant care coordination to ensure they thrive at home and are not readmitted to hospital.”

RRNs visit patients within 24 hours of leaving the hospital to ensure that follow-up doctors’ visits are made and kept; ensure that medications are taken as instructed; and ongoing medical assessments continue through constant monitoring during the crucial first 30 days after leaving hospital.  

Lynda Amodeo-Thomson, one of the Mississauga Halton CCAC’s Rapid Response Nurses, is passionate about her new role, “My philosophy is to help patients self-manage their care, to teach them how and why they are doing particular tasks such as weighing themselves and watching sodium intake. I want them to be able to recognize what’s normal versus what’s not, and to visit their doctor as soon as they recognize any warning signs.”

Initially, Mississauga Halton CCAC is partnering with the medicine and cardiac units at Oakville Trafalgar Hospital and Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital to identify patients who need this level of care most.

The Mississauga Halton CCAC coordinates in-home and community support services, information and referral, and long-term care placement. It is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and serves a population of more than one-million residents in the communities of South Etobicoke, Mississauga, Oakville, Haltom Hills and Milton.

The Mississauga Halton CCAC is funded through the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (MH LHIN).