​​​PESU launches new care model to better serve the needs of patients 

PESU group
(L to R) Aideen Carroll, Emily Zhu, Kevin Danquah and Ananka Rodrigue are part of the PESU team that helped implement the new model of care. (Photo: UHN)

The Psychiatric Emergency Services Unit (PESU) earlier this summer introduced a new model of care.

Over the past five years, PESU has seen a steady increase in patient volume, acuity, and complexity of the mental health and addiction patients accessing their services.  

"We had to address the issue," says Nanette Lang, Clinical Manager, PESU. "We wanted to build-in the ability to be more flexible and nimble and provide the highest quality of care to our patients.

So, the PESU interprofessional team did what they do best:  they worked as a team to launch a new model of care that would reflect the unique, complex, and changing needs of their patients.

Over the course of just eight weeks, the team organized five Quality Improvement Days with key stakeholders to identify opportunities for improvement and established four working groups. Applying the principles of LEAN methodology, each group met to address the identified opportunities for improvement and then implemented and evaluated improved standard work processes.

The first working group, which included stakeholders from the Toronto Western Hospital Emergency Department, developed a standard work flow to improve communication and safety when transitioning from triage to PESU.  

The second and third working groups split the tasks of updating the nursing assessment protocol to include comprehensive and curent best practice assessments and care-planning tools.

The last group applied the principles of "See it Shine" – sort/set in order/shine/standardize –  to declutter the PESU area,  and clearly label the supply cart and cupboards thus eliminating time and motion waste.  

Finally, the team replaced faxing of patient materials with Connecting Ontario, an electronic health record system, which has made PESU staff more efficient, and shortened assessment wait times for patients.

Small changes to the layout of the unit have created a more welcoming environment for both patients and staff. The patient lounge area has also been updated to include a larger TV, soothing pictures and health information brochures.

"It's all about delivering the right care, by the right person, at the right time," says Marianne Ng, a Senior Professional Practice Leader at PESU. ​

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