A pilot project is connecting patients who leave acute care to prepare them for life at home.

The Friendly Calls+ Hospital to Home program is set up in Yorkton, helping patients who have recently been discharged from Yorkton Regional Health Center.

"Essentially the pilot project is to assist patients when they're discharged home from acute care to follow up with them after they've been at home to ensure that they're doing okay to see if they feel that they need any other resources and then essentially help the patient navigate anything that they might need from there," said primary healthcare director Jodie Yathon.

Those calls are to ensure the transition happens smoothly, both physically and mentally.

"It would encompass both the physical and the mental components of their transition home. But certainly, it's that ability to link the discharge of their current situation and lead them to any resources that they might need." 

Over the year-long pilot the hospital and SHA will be helped out by other organizations, explained Janna-Lea Yawney, SHA's Director of Acute Care for Southeast 4.

"It's a one-year pilot with the possibility to extend for up to three years. The process will run by referral, so our acute care staff nursing when the discharge plan is created we'll have that discussion with patients and patients who are willing and want to participate will be referred to the Red Cross' Friendly Calls+ program."

Red Cross would then take over the phone program from there, with a specified number of calls per week.

Yawney says it's likely the pilot project could be replicated in other areas.

"if it helps us to identify gaps then maybe we can bolster up the service or a different opportunity for patients that might help replicate or could be the same concept applied in other areas to identify gaps, maybe in their health networks. It's a pretty simple concept that I think will have good impact for the patients and also as Jody said, for us as providers and healthcare leaders in the care that we're delivering."

Both Yathon and Yawney say that their teams have had a positive experience with the program so far.