Improving patient safety and preventing adverse events

Exceptional Experiences

April 2 , 2012

Critical Care Outreach Team at University Hospital
Critical Care Outreach Team at Victoria Hospital
Members of the Critical Care Outreach Teams at University Hospital (top) and Victoria Hospital.

"Because…critical care is a need not a place” is the model behind London Health Science Centre’s Critical Care Outreach Teams (CCOTs), who recently celebrated their fifth anniversary.

Last year, these teams at University Hospital and Victoria Hospital responded to more than 2,000 calls made by members of the health care team when the patients outside of the intensive care unit (ICU) were determined to be at risk of becoming more sick.

"The Critical Care Outreach Teams have done an outstanding job and we congratulate them on their fifth anniversary,” says Bonnie Adamson, LHSC president and chief executive officer. “Their ongoing commitment is having a positive impact on our continuing efforts to improve access and quality of care for our patients.”

The specialized critical care outreach teams are comprised of critical care physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists. Together, they bring the skills of the ICU to the general ward to support and assist staff in managing and stabilizing seriously ill patients with the goal of improving patient outcomes. All patients discharged from LHSC’s ICUs are followed by CCOT to improve the transition from an intensely monitored area to a ward environment.

"The level of care required for patients in hospital is increasing in complexity as they often suffer from multiple diseases or disorders and present with increasingly complex illnesses,” says Judy Kojlak, Director, Critical Care. “The CCOTs have improved patient outcomes, minimizing unnecessary critical care admissions by providing preventative measures before a patient becomes critically ill as well as facilitating transfer to an ICU in a timely manner when needed.”

Sharing of knowledge with ward staff and providing unit-specific educational in-services serves to enhance communication and collaboration between clinical teams, all with a focus on quality patient care and safety from a staff and patient perspective.

CCOT is a true testament to LHSC’s emerging vision of exceptional experiences, extraordinary people, and engaging partnerships.