St. Joseph’s Health System, Niagara Health launch new innovative care model COVID Care @ Home

Nov 12, 2020

(HAMILTON, NIAGARA) – NOVEMBER 12, 2020 – COVID Care @ Home is a new model of care delivered by St. Joseph’s Home Care (SJHC), in partnership with St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS), Niagara Health and community partners that connects patients to care wherever they are, whenever they need it.

Starting at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Niagara Health, with rapid expansion to Kitchener, this new model of care for COVID patients will provide 24/7 access to high-quality care from one integrated team in the home and in community settings like retirement homes, shelters and hospices.

COVID Care @ Home is a uniquely designed program intended for those with a confirmed COVID diagnosis who do not require hospitalization. Complimenting existing local COVID initiatives, the program will support integrated care at home, early discharge from hospitals with supports and help to prevent hospitalization. It will also help to prevent outbreaks by providing Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and coaching support for community congregate settings.

Patients will be assessed to determine what level of service will be provided. Vulnerable patients who are at risk of hospitalization and who require additional supports and services will have access to an integrated clinical care team, remote monitoring and at-home and virtual visits to support a safe recovery at home. This same model of care will be available to patients discharged from hospital so they can safely return home sooner.

This innovative, flexible model would provide COVID patients access to services that may not typically be within the scope of traditional home and community care supports. Patients will be cared for by one integrated team representing a variety of providers whose clinical decisions are empowered through the use of a single electronic patient record to support patients in the following ways:

  • Virtual Care (phone, video and remote patient monitoring)
  • One number to call 24/7
  • One clinical team
  • One electronic record
  • System navigation / connection to social supports
  • Access to specialists
  • IPAC Support

St. Joseph’s Home Care will lead this innovative transformation to connect home care to a broad range of services for COVID patients and work in collaboration with other service provider organizations and primary care.

SJHS is one of the largest healthcare organizations in Canada, and the only system in Ontario delivering a full continuum of integrated health care services.

“We’ve learned a tremendous amount about COVID-19 over the last several months,” said Tom Stewart, St. Joseph’s Health System President and CEO and CEO of Niagara Health. “This new program builds on partnerships and learnings by increasing our focus on virtual care and specialized COVID care teams that crosses normal silos of care. This will help us through the second and future waves of the pandemic as well as prepare us for system transformation needed in healthcare.”

The program is designed to support older adults who are at greater risk of physical and mental health decline. Patients will be enrolled by the clinical teams at the time of their COVID 19 diagnosis.

The new model will also help to protect capacity in hospitals by expanding supports and services in the community through a dedicated team that will facilitate care at home, support safe discharges from hospital and limit unnecessary Emergency Department visits. This will help hospitals to maintain capacity and services during a second wave as well as continuing scheduled surgeries to reduce wait lists and backlogs.

About St. Joseph’s Home Care

Since 1921, St. Joseph’s Home Care has provided high quality, values-based home and community services in a spirit of compassion and dedication. We have evolved from a nursing agency to offering a much broader range of services, and our steadfast commitment to delivering exemplary client-focused care to the Hamilton community continues.

About St. Joseph’s Health System

St. Joseph’s Health System (SJHS) is one of the largest healthcare organizations in Canada, and is the only system in Ontario delivering a full continuum of health care services. SJHS is a globally recognized leader for innovation in models of patient-centred integrated care. SJHS has a unique partnership with Niagara Health to leverage each organization’s strengths to bring better care to the people in the communities we serve.

About Niagara Health:

Niagara Health is a regional healthcare provider with multiple sites and a growing network of virtual and community-based services. We provide a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services to more than 450,000 residents across Niagara, including Acute Care, Cancer Care, Cardiac Care, Complex Care, Emergency and Urgent Care, Kidney Care, Long-Term Care, Mental Health and Addictions, Stroke Care and Surgical Care.

About St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

As a premier academic and research healthcare organization, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is committed to making a difference in people’s lives and creating a lasting future for our community through integrated health services and internationally recognized programs. Our threefold mission is to provide dynamic research, revolutionary methods in health sciences education and the highest standard of clinical care in a spirit of compassion, innovation and commitment.

For More Information:

Patrick Moore
Senior Public Affairs Specialist, St. Joseph’s Health System
M: 905.870.1293 | E:

Steven Gallagher
Communications Specialist, Niagara Health
P: 289-696-6767 | E: