Post ICU discharge clinic recognized with prestigious award

News / General / Patient Care
By Meaghan Quinn

Clinic offers support to ICU patients after discharge from hospital

An innovative clinic for patients of the ICU at Kingston Health Sciences Centre was recently recognized with an international award for its work in helping patients transition from the ICU back to their homes and community.

Known as the THRIVE Post ICU Clinic Collaborative award, this award recognizes up to seven hospitals focused on developing post ICU clinics to provide comprehensive care to ICU survivors.

 “It was very exciting to hear that we’re receiving recognition and acknowledgement for the hard work and effort that has gone into creating this clinic,” says Dr. Gord Boyd, a KHSC critical care physician and one of the leads of the post-ICU discharge clinic. “We’re doing something new, exciting and cutting edge for patients in our region with this clinic and helping them after they’ve been through the ICU.”

As part of the post ICU clinic at KHSC, patients return to the hospital at the three and 12-month mark after their discharge to do memory recall tests and visit their ICU room, as well meet the people who took care of them to help anchor their memories. These steps are taken to help people reacclimatize to their daily routines after spending time in the ICU. Since the clinic first opened, 36 patients have passed through it.

“I think before we had this clinic in place that families would leave the ICU feeling unsure on what was or wasn’t normal with their symptoms and had nowhere to go with their questions,” says Cathy MacGillivary, social worker with the Critical Care program and one of the clinic leads. “Now, when they come to the clinic they’re relieved to hear that their symptoms are common and to have us as a resource to help connect them to other support services and help normalize the experience for them.”

As part of this award, KHSC received a grant that will be used to fund participation in an international conference to allow us to continue to learn from other organizations and how they run post ICU clinics. In addition, KHSC is part of a collaborative network of organizations that run clinics such as this and help one another share and gain knowledge on how to set up and sustain a follow-up clinic.

“We’re very proud and excited to have received this award and acknowledgement,” says Cathy. “This is something unique that we’re offering to patients and it’s making a positive impact to their lives and it’s wonderful to be recognized in this way.”