A success story for collaborative care

Doug Graham The term "collaborative care" has been in the news recently, as a model of care we are adopting across Yukon's health care system. As we move in this direction, it's useful to take a look at examples we already have of how a collaborative care

Doug Graham

The term “collaborative care” has been in the news recently, as a model of care we are adopting across Yukon’s health care system. As we move in this direction, it’s useful to take a look at examples we already have of how a collaborative care approach has helped us deliver better, more cost-effective service to Yukoners. Home care in Yukon is one such example.

The term “collaborative care” is somewhat self-explanatory. It refers to a team approach that involves a variety of trained medical and other professionals, all working together, or collaborating, to deliver the service that individuals need. The emphasis is on ensuring each professional involved is able to work to the full scope of their training and use all their skills, abilities and knowledge to deliver service. The goal is to ensure Yukoners receive the best possible health care services in a timely, responsive and cost-effective way.

The Yukon Home Care Program provides client-focussed health services in the home, improves quality of life and supports Yukoners in living safely and independently in their own homes, which is where they want to be. The program offers a “bundle” of services, including professional services such as nursing, social work and therapies; personal care such as assistance with dressing, bathing, feeding, transfers and mobility assistance; and home-making, with a focus on safety and sanitation. Yukon’s level of home care service is considered to be one of the most comprehensive bundles available in the country.

Yukon does face challenges in the delivery of home care. For example, 15 per cent of home care clients in Yukon have no family caregivers available to them, compared to the national average of 2 to 3 per cent without a caregiver. In recognition of this and other challenges, the Yukon Home Care Program works to integrate and link its services with community partners, such as First Nation programs, community nursing, hospital services, chronic disease management teams, and primary care physicians.

The program also uses technology in the provision of care – laptop computers and telehealth systems link clients, care providers and professional staff in communities, Whitehorse and larger centres in southern Canada. We have also hired a new health promotion and prevention care coordinator, who works with clients to help them pro-actively manage their health. In addition, we provide respite services that give caregivers the breaks they need, and which can prevent or delay clients from entering the acute care system.

In addition to the benefits to individuals, our approach to home care also provides a cost benefit to government and ultimately to taxpayers – the cost for an individual to receive home care is $38/day, compared to long-term care, which costs up to $400/day and hospital care, which costs $2,200/day.

We know that the percentage of Yukoners who are 65 or older will nearly double by 2021 and triple by 2030. This is why it’s so important that we keep our focus on collaborative home care that meets the individual’s needs in a fiscally-responsible way. This approach to home care will help us keep our clients happier and healthier and in their own homes.

And, as we look beyond home care to a broad range of health care needs, the collaborative approach shows much promise as a way to serve all Yukoners better.

Doug Graham is Yukon’s minister

of health and social services

Just Posted

Lorraine Kuhn is seen with one of the many volleyball teams she coached. (Photo submitted by Sport Yukon)
The Yukon Sports Hall of Fame inducts the late Lorraine Kuhn

Lorraine Kuhn became the newest member of the Yukon Sports Hall of Fame for her work in growing volleyball amongst other sports

File Photo
A Yukon judge approved dangerous offender status for a man guilty of a string of assaults in 2020.
Yukon judge sentences dangerous offender to indefinite prison term

Herman Peter Thorn, 51, was given the sentence for 2020 assaults, history of violence

Crystal Schick/ Yukon News A former residential school in the Kaska Dena community of Lower Post will be demolished on June 21. Crystal Schick/ Yukon News
Lower Post residential school demolition postponed

On June 21, the old residential school in Lower Post will be demolished and new ground on a multi-cultural centre will be broken

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced 29 new COVID-19 cases on June 19 and community transmission among unvaccinated individuals. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs record-high 29 new COVID-19 cases

F.H. Collins prom attendees and some Porter Creek Grade 9 students are instructed to self-isolate as community transmission sweeps through unvaccinated populations

Willow Brewster, a paramedic helping in the COVID-19 drive-thru testing centre, holds a swab used for the COVID-19 test moments before using it on Nov. 24. The Yukon government is reopening the drive-thru option on June 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Drive-up COVID-19 testing opening June 18 in Whitehorse

The drive-up testing will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday and increase testing capacity by 33 spots

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its June 14 meeting

Murray Arsenault sits in the drivers seat of his 1975 Bricklin SV1 in Whitehorse on June 16. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Bringing the 1975 Bricklin north

Murray Arsenault remembers his dad’s Bricklin, while now driving his own

A presumptive COVID case was found at Seabridge Gold’s 3 Aces project. (file photo)
Presumptive COVID-19 case reported at mine in southeast Yukon

A rapid antigen rest found a presumptive COVID case on an incoming individual arriving at the 3Aces project

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

Most Read