Colleagues in front of a van

Transitions in care from a hospital to another organization can be a challenging time for patients and their families, and this can be especially stressful when patients are leaving a hospital to receive palliative care elsewhere.

To help ease this stress and improve our ability to provide our patients and families with the best possible palliative care referrals, a team of approximately 20 Mount Sinai clinicians toured some local palliative care services last week, and the results are already paying off.

“There’s a general assumption when we discharge patients that the best palliative care is delivered closest to a patient’s home, but we recognize that is not always the case,” says Sabrina Gaon, Manager, Inter-professional Allied Health Social Work and Clinical Nutrition. “Because of what we learned during this tour, we are already tailoring referrals by making recommendations that match wishes expressed by patients and families. It’s a completely different experience now that we know firsthand what patients should expect.”

Using one of Circle of Care’s vans that began offering patient transports to Bridgepoint patients last year, the team toured Toronto Grace, Kensington Hospice and The Albert and Temmy Latner Family Palliative Care Unit at Bridgepoint. During these visits, an emphasis was placed on team building across our Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai campuses – this is especially important since the formation of our Inter-Departmental Division of Palliative Care in 2016.

“Since launching our system-wide palliative care model, we have seen an impressive increase in appropriate referrals to Bridgepoint’s palliative unit from Mount Sinai,” says Dr. Sarah Kawaguchi, Mount Sinai Palliative Care Physician. “Meeting our colleagues and learning more about the facilities at Bridgepoint and other organizations will further our efforts to ensure seamless transitions for our patients.”

Sabrina Gaon and Dr. Sarah Kawaguchi worked together to organize these tours, and they are planning to visit more organizations with their colleagues this March.