Evaluation of the Alternate Level of Care Management Initiative (The Carelinks Program) (BC421)
Recipient: Simon Fraser Health Region, New Westminster, British Columbia
This project evaluated Carelinks, a program introduced in 1999 in two hospitals in the Simon Fraser Health Region that was designed to improve coordination between hospitals and continuing care. Carelinks was financed by a restructuring that included closing a ward of 30 beds and eliminating some staff positions. Researchers reported generally positive perceptions of the program’s success on the part of physicians and other staff. Also, clients of Carelinks reported greater health improvement than was the case in a control group. Other indicators, including the use of physician and hospital services, showed no difference between the two groups. Cost savings in the year after the restructuring and implementation of Carelinks totalled almost $1 million. Researchers concluded that the diversion of resources to Carelinks was cost-effective and improved health status and provider satisfaction.
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.