New partnership launches between KHSC and Lakeridge Health

News / General / Cancer Care
By Meaghan Quinn

New Day +1 program allows patients to be transferred to their home hospital for post-treatment care

One of the more difficult pieces of being in the hospital is the distance patients have to contend with that rests between them and their home, friends and families. Now, a new partnership between KHSC and Lakeridge Health is helping to close this distance for some of our autologous stem cell transplant patients.

“We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Lakeridge Health and to now be able to transfer patients that we treat from that region back to their home hospital only one day after transplant, meaning that they can receive post-transplant care closer to their home, family and friends,” says Renee Hartzell, Manager, Malignant Hematology Day Unit. “This is also a success for KHSC as we’re able to free up in-patient bed space and ensure that we have the right people in the in-patient setting at the right time.”

Patients in need of stem cell transplants travel to the Malignant Hematology Day Unit at KHSC to receive this treatment, which typically also requires a 14 to 21 day stay as an in-patient. Under this new partnership, known as the Day +1 program, patients from the Durham region are able to receive their treatment in Kingston and on the following day be transferred to their home hospital Lakeridge Health for their in-patient care needs.

“For patients this means care closer to home but the biggest impact often ends up being on their support system, as it helps enable the friends and family members to visit more frequently and help them feel more comfortable in a hospital setting that’s a much closer driving distance than Kingston,” says Fatima Canseco, Clinical Practice Leader, Complex Malignant Hematology and Systemic Therapy at Lakeridge Health. “This was a partnership our patients were asking for and we’re thrilled to have this now successfully implemented.”

To prepare for this partnership, staff from the Malignant Hematology team travelled to Lakeridge Health for a full day to tour their facility and collaborate together on the care needs of patients who would be going through the Day +1 program. After months of planning and discussion, the first patient was transferred this past May.

“This process has been seamless, organized and each step lined up well with the other,” says Jennifer, the first patient to go through the Day +1 program. “It is mind blowing how supportive this process and everyone involved in it is. As a family we felt like we were part of the health care team and that we were never alone.”

The Malignant Hematology Day Unit transplants around 55 patients a year with approximately 20 per cent of those patients from the Lakeridge Health region. Partnerships such as these came as a result of a provincial direction from CCO who had identified the need to move stem cell transplant work out of major cancer centres and into supporting centres.

“This was an incredibly successful initiative to work on with our partners at Lakeridge Health and also couldn’t have happened without the incredible support of leaders, physicians and staff at all levels throughout the organization,” says Hartzell. “However, the most successful part of this is knowing what an incredibly positive impact this will have for our patients and their families.”