Essential Care Partner Program
What is an Essential Care Partner?
GBGH is committed to providing safe, quality patient-centred care. This approach to the planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among healthcare providers, patients and families. Essential Care Partners (ECPs) are important members of that partnership.
An ECP is someone appointed by the patient who is considered essential to their well-being while they are in our hospital. Unlike a visitor, who plays a social role for the patient, ECPs provide a patient with essential support and function as a valued member of the care team. As such, ECPs are allowed to attend the hospital more frequently and consistently and are not limited by regular visiting hours.
What do ECPs do?
GBGH recognizes the importance of ECPs as patients who have a familiar person supporting them may feel more comfortable and consequently, their health outcomes will improve. Some of the ways ECPs participate in patient care include:
- Supporting patients who may have cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments
- Supporting patients through decision-making and care planning while they are in the health centre
- Assisting patients in eating, personal care, communicating or mobility
Who can have an ECP?
Patients are eligible for an Essential Care Partner if they meet the following criteria and are approved by the inpatient unit leader:
- Are admitted to the health centre with an estimated length of stay for 3 days or longer
- Meet the definition of a vulnerable patient: Someone who is or may be for any reason unable to protect and take care of themselves against significant harm or exploitation (e.g. patient under 18 years of age, has a cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, frail elderly, has mobility concerns, or is unable to effectively communicate).
- Require assistance with one of the following:
- Personal care, feeding/mealtime
- Communication for hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual or memory impairments
- Supported decision-making
What are some examples of a vulnerable patient who could qualify for having an ECP?
GBGH defines a vulnerable patient as:
- Someone who is or may be for any reason unable to protect and take care of themselves against significant harm or exploitation (e.g. patient under 18 years of age, mental health patients under 18 years of age, has a cognitive impairment, significant developmental and/or intellectual disability, frail elderly, has mobility concerns, or is unable to effectively communicate).
Some examples where the presence of an ECP would be beneficial are:
- Patient requires assistance with personal care or feeding
- Patient requires assistance with mobility, or is at significant risk of falls
- Patient requires assistance with communication for hearing, visual, speech, cognitive, intellectual, or memory impairments
- Patient requires assistance in supported decision-making
What is expected of an ECP?
Once approved for the program, a person must complete the ECP training which outlines roles and responsibilities, as well as complete Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) training.
ECPs are further required to:
- Adhere to GBGH safety protocols, Code of Conduct, and Patient & Family Rights and Responsibilities
- Adhere to GBGH IPAC standards at all times
- Be considerate and respectful of all patients, members of the care team, staff and volunteers
- Wear an ECP identification badge when at the health centre which must be returned when the patient is discharged
How do inpatients begin the process to designate an ECP?
Patients wishing to designate an ECP can fill out an application below and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask their care team for assistance submitting an application.
How many ECPs can a patient have?
Each eligible patient may designate up to two ECPs. The ECP(s) will function in their role throughout the patient’s admission only.
Which areas of the hospital are included in the ECP program?
- 1 North
- 2 North
- 2 East
- Intensive Care Unit
When can ECPs visit?
Since ECPs function as part of the patient’s care team, they are permitted to provide support to the patient during visiting hours. Only one ECP may be at the bedside at a time. ECPs must pass screening to enter and follow all GBGH Infection Prevention and Control protocols.
How will ECPs be identified?
ECPs will wear a special identification badge during their visit in the hospital. A badge will be issued by the Patient and Family Experience Office, and the ECP will be required to return the badge at the end of their visit .
How to Apply
If you or a loved one is eligible for an ECP, please speak with a member of the care team and fill out the application form below.
Once sent, please allow 1 business day for the Patient & Family Experience Office to get back to you with further information on your application.
Please note: ECPs are not always required, and not every patient may qualify or be approved.
Once completed, either save your form as a PDF or print and scan it. Then send in an email to: email@example.com