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Taking two for the team

Toronto, January 19, 2015

By Kate Manicom

Leanna McCarney, Khadra Mohamed and Linda Lo
Social worker Leanna McCarney, CCAC co-ordinator Khadra Mohamed and case manager Linda Lo plan a Trauma Neurosurgery patient’s transition from the hospital to home. (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

Like most units at St. Michael’s, Trauma and Neurosurgery on 9 Cardinal Carter has a lot to cover during its daily and weekly rounds. Many of its patients have complex injuries and illnesses and most require continued care after they leave the hospital.

What sets these rounds apart is that in addition to nurse practitioners, social workers and case managers, they are attended by the same two CCAC co-ordinators every week, Khadra Mohamed and Katherine Chow.

Mohamed and Chow attend bullet rounds on 9 CC twice every week as well as weekly ALC rounds. The result is improved communication and understanding between the unit and CCAC and a faster transition for patients who are ready to recover at home or elsewhere in the community.

“We had a patient who was admitted after a violent attack,” said Ingrid Kuran, a social worker on 9 CC. “His injuries left him with behavioural issues that would have made any placement challenging. Because Khadra and Katherine were aware of all aspects of his treatment needs, they recommended and referred him to the Behavioural Support Services Program for assessment. Once opened by CCAC, our 9CC team completed the capacity assessments and medical form within days. A process that might have previously taken up to a month was completed within a week.”

Through this collaboration, Mohamed and Chow have also helped St. Michael’s patients who are diagnosed with brain tumours go home with the support they need while they wait for radiation oncology treatments at Sunnybrook or Princess Margaret Hospitals, instead of waiting at St. Michael’s. Patients can safely stay with their families, and their hospital beds are freed up for a new patient needing trauma or neurosurgery care.


Did you know?
Ontario’s Community Care Access Centres were established by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in 1996 to help the public access government-funded home and community services and Long-Term Care Homes. There are 14 CCACs throughout Ontario.


“Because 9 CC has so many people doing so many things, it always seemed like a maze to me,” said Mohamed. “Now we have a much better understanding of what everyone else is thinking.”

Linda Lo, a case manager on the unit, found the collaboration has not only improved communication between CCAC and 9 CC, it has helped both groups to communicate with patients and their families.

“We’re providing consistent messages now,” said Lo. “We speak with one voice, as a team.”

• Related: Telemedicine Improves Discharge Planning

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.