RN Elisabeth Ash is the newest member of the North Shore Quick Response Team (QRT).

Couple praises North Shore QRT for keeping husband out of hospital

When *June Walker saw how much pain her 84-year-old husband was in, she called for an ambulance to take him to the emergency department at Lions Gate Hospital.

As a retired RN, June was certain her husband Colin was suffering from a bowel obstruction. He had a bloated abdomen, severe abdominal pain and constipation. It turned out, Colin was extremely constipated and needed immediate medical intervention. When he arrived at the Lions Gate Hospital ED, Colin went through a battery of tests, was given morphine for his intense pain and treated to relieve most of the constipation.

The physician overseeing his case thought he needed to be admitted, but the availability of the Quick Response Team changed his mind. Colin was discharged home.

The day after his visit to emerg, RNs Elisabeth Ash and Tammy Mulder of the QRT visited Colin’s home to check on him. (Typically, only one nurse will visit a patient’s home, but Tammy was onboarding Elisabeth to her new role on the QRT).

QRT RN vital to success of decreasing admissions

“The QRT RN role is vital to the success of the quick response pull from acute care,” says Sujata Connors, Director, Community & Family Health, Coastal. “The physicians are more comfortable discharging and not admitting patients when they know that a nurse will follow up with the patient in their home later that afternoon or the next morning.”

Colin and June were amazed at how prompt the nurses arrived the morning after his hospital visit.

“These two nurses were absolutely amazing,” says June. “They came to our home and answered all our questions about Colin’s care, which reassured us both about having him at home. They went above and beyond what we expected. It’s such a relief to have this additional level of care after you leave the hospital even when you’re not admitted.”

Colin said the nurses filled in a lot of blanks for him and eased his concerns. They also taught him about his discharge prescriptions and his chronic disease management.

When Colin talked to his daughter, who lives in Ontario, about his experience, she was surprised to hear about the home visit by the nurses.

“’Two nurses came to your home? You’ve got to be kidding me’,” Colin recalled his daughter saying. “That was interesting for me to hear. I didn’t want to go home when I got to the hospital, but I didn’t know at the time that two nurses would come to my house so promptly the next day. It’s very good to know that the hospital follows up like that.”

*Not the person’s real name.

Read more about the NS QRT

North Shore Quick Response Team (QRT) puts ‘Home is Best’ philosophy into action