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Life after spinal cord injury:

New self-management tool helps patients transition home By Erica Di Maio

ike most teenagers, 17-yearold Anthony Simas couldn’t wait for summer vacation. He had just finished celebrating his high school graduation and prom. But that summer, a swimming accident would change everything. While vacationing at a cottage, Anthony slipped off the pool deck, into the water and landed on his head, breaking his neck.


A new standard-of-care for spinal cord injury patients

Today, 20-year-old Anthony is a C5 incomplete quadriplegic. While he has full head and neck movement and muscle range in his upper-body, he has lost function in his legs. His experience has inspired him to become an advocate for spinal cord patients. From January to March 2015, he partnered with Toronto Rehab’s Lyndhurst Centre and UHN OpenLab as a Patient Advisor to develop and launch the Spinal Cord Injury rehab version of a Patient Oriented Discharge Summary (PODS) – a tool that facilitates a more patient-

Photo courtesy of UHN

Sandra Mills, Patient and Family Educator at Toronto Rehab and Patient-Oriented Discharge Summary (PODS) project co-lead (left) with Anthony Simas, former patient at Lyndhurst Centre and Patient Advisor on the PODS pilot project.(Photo: UHN) centred discharge for spinal cord injury patients during the transition from hospital to home. PODS summarizes a patient’s care plan, signs and symptoms, appointments and contacts for the two-to-four-week


period immediately following discharge. It’s completed in a ‘teach-back’ style meeting with a patient-driven approach. One week prior to discharge, the patient meets with a member of their health care team and a neutral facilita-

tor to review their plan for transition into the community. The neutral facilitator has the clinical knowledge to evaluate the plan and determine whether gaps exist. Continued on page 6


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Hospital News 2016 March Edition  

Focus: Gerontology, Alternate Level of Care and Home Care/Rehab. Special: "Together We Care" Supplement

Hospital News 2016 March Edition  

Focus: Gerontology, Alternate Level of Care and Home Care/Rehab. Special: "Together We Care" Supplement