New Essential Caregiver Program at Cornwall Hospital
Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH)
is proud to be launching a new Essential Caregiver Program this month, a compassionate
and forward-thinking initiative that will help to redefine patient-centered
care and family engagement at CCH.
Caregivers are individuals, often
family members or close friends, who provide assistance and support to patients.
They enhance and assist with communication, provide emotional and psychological
support, advocate for patients and more.
Healthcare organizations across
Ontario are increasingly committing to building a culture that supports patient
and family partnerships in care, which includes acknowledging caregivers and
the positive impact they have on patient health. For instance, studies show
that caregivers often improve patient outcomes, help to reduce hospital
readmission rates, and decrease incidents of falls, sepsis, and decompensation
while in hospital.
It is important for us to
recognize the vital role caregivers play and actively involve them as partners
in the care process. By doing so, we can create a more comprehensive and
patient-centered approach to care that benefits everyone.
This is particularly important as
we continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which we recognize had a
profound impact on patient-family dynamics. Re-introducing and strengthening
caregiver involvement will help pave the way for stronger and more resilient patient-centered care on
our journey of recovery and healing.
The new Essential Caregiver
Program at CCH has three main components to help us achieve this:
1. Identifying and training caregivers: Caregivers will undergo specialized
hospital training which will include overviews on patient privacy and consent,
role clarification, expectations, safety measures, etc. Each caregiver will
also be issued an “I Am a Caregiver” visual identification badge.
2. Including the caregiver as part of
the care team: The
training for caregivers will also include tips on how to appropriately interact
with the healthcare team and ask questions on things like medication
administration and mealtimes so they can support the decision-making process. Hospital
staff will also undergo dedicated training to learn how they can best include
caregivers as part of the care team.
3. Supporting the caregiver: The hospital will actively support
caregivers by providing resources, support services and access to our Family
Caregiver Centre, which is a dedicated lounge for caregivers with computer
access and resources.
The program will be rolled out across various
hospital departments in phases over the coming weeks, starting with our
Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Unit this month, as ALC patients are more likely
to require caregivers due to the medical complexity of their conditions,
functional limitations, and longer hospital stays.
The introduction of the new
Essential Caregiver Program at CCH marks an exciting step forward in delivering
care inspired by patients and care partners. This initiative is also another
example of how CCH is prioritizing innovation, empathy, and compassion in everything
We are optimistic that this new program will
produce material benefits for our people, enhance patient outcomes and
experiences, and honour the important role that caregivers play in their loved ones' lives.