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New program will improve care in the community, reduce Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations

Posted May 25th, 2022

New program will improve care in the community, reduce Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations

Niagara Health is working more closely with primary care providers in the community as part of a new program launched today to streamline care for patients in the community, and reduce Emergency Department (ED) visits and hospital re-admissions.

More than 80 family physicians and nurse practitioners have registered for SCOPE Niagara – Seamless Care Optimizing the Patient Experience. This program connects family physicians and nurse practitioners to a dedicated team of specialists from Niagara Health and from Home and Community Care. The primary care providers will connect with SCOPE Niagara’s nurse navigator, who will direct them to the most appropriate providers or services based on their patient's health concerns.

"As family physicians, we are seeing more and more patients who are struggling with multiple complex care needs,” explains Dr. Darija Vujosevic, Family Physician and Co-Chair of the Niagara Practitioners Healthcare Alliance (NPHA). “Most family physicians do not have access to specialist advice and have difficulties navigating the programs and services in the hospital and community. With one call, our high-risk patients who have urgent concerns are provided with the highest quality of care possible. SCOPE Niagara ensures that patients get the right care, in the right place, and at the right time so they don't have to go to the Emergency Department."

SCOPE Niagara is a partnership with Niagara Health, Home and Community Care and Niagara Practitioners Healthcare Alliance (NHPA), with the support of the Niagara Ontario Health Team - Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara. SCOPE originated in 2012 to support family physicians in Toronto. The program has since grown and has been effective in streamlining care and averting both ED visits and hospitalizations.

"Partnering more closely with our colleagues in primary care will improve patients’ experiences in the community and in the hospital, as well as decrease unnecessary ED visits,” says Dr. Johan Viljoen, Chief of Staff for Niagara Health. “SCOPE Niagara will help us better connect patients to care where they need it and reduce the number of patients who require hospital care.”

Niagara Health System