Developing diverse partnerships to smooth the care pathway for the elderly


In France, Korian has forged partnerships with a large number of organisations providing care or support for the elderly and their families. This proactive policy is producing rapid, tailor-made solutions.

It can prove difficult to manage follow-up to hospital home care, find contact details for medical professionals after a spell in rehabilitation care, or even to call an ambulance.

With this in mind, Korian has been building a country-wide network of partners for many years. The aim is to provide an appropriate, coordinated response to every elderly person, whatever their care pathway and their needs. In practical terms, these partnerships prevent lapses in care, provide help with transfers from home to hospital, improve access to the treatments and care available, and inspire innovative solutions throughout the regions.

Providing flexible solutions

The purpose of these partnerships was to build links between professionals in complementary skills, within the framework created by treatment pathways and key actors in the geriatric care sector.

Underpinned by its network of nursing homes (long-term care facilities), post-acute clinics and hospital home care facilities, Korian has developed close working relationships with a diverse range of partners over time to ensure that the full range of needs is covered. Thus transfers between facilities (nursing homes, clinics, assisted living facilities, and from short to long-term care) are made smoother, and a broad spectrum of solutions is opened up, ranging from the most traditional to the most innovative.

As a result, Korian employee are fully aware of all the relevant, skilled resources available locally, so that they know:

• who to refer a resident/patient to,
• the most appropriate solution following a hospital stay, that takes everyone's requirements into account,
• where to direct individuals who are not eligible for a post-acute and rehabilitation care service
• how to help people to remain in their homes, with the necessary assistance.

They act swiftly, ensuring the best response at the right time, and help the partners to work together effectively by passing on relevant information, organising home visits, and sharing their knowledge

An increasingly diverse network

The diversity of this network is illustrated by the wide range of Korian partners:

• Healthcare institutions: university hospitals, private groups (Ramsay Générale de Santé, Elsan, Capio)
• Home-care services: O2, Bien à la Maison, Age d'Or, Auxiliadom, Assistalliance, etc.
• Care homes for the elderly: DOMITYS, COGEDIM CLUB
• Non-profit organisations: Alzheimer's, ADAPEI
• Private and mutual insurance companies: Crédit Agricole, Malakoff Médéric, AFER- AVIVA

Korian also sets up its own "internal" partnerships, particularly between its nursing homes and its post-acute and hospital home care facilities.

In practice, each facility is linked by agreements to an average of six partners.

1,618 agreements signed in total

The links set up are all the more effective in helping the elderly for being specific to each partner. The following three examples serve to illustrate this:

      1) Reduced waiting time at hospitals

'Our aim is to hand our residents over to the emergency services as efficiently as possible when the need arises. Thanks to our partnerships, they can be looked after without delay, using planned hospital stays wherever possible so that they can receive specialist tests and treatment. Emergency admissions and lapses in the elderly person's coordinated care programme are avoided,' explains Geneviève Moreaux, Korian's Major Accounts and Partnerships Manager. 'More broadly, once they are within the geriatric hospital care system, we work with the teams there on ways to reduce emergency admissions and prevent avoidable hospitalisations, and try to streamline procedures by looking for solutions retrospectively. We work closely with medical and care teams, drawing on all our expertise in geriatric care, which improves our mutual understanding of the various specialist disciplines involved in long-term care nursing homes.'

      2) Smoothing moves between facilities

Our partnerships also help to facilitate transfers and streamline care pathways between our nursing homes and post-acute care clinics. They were planned with specific aims in mind:

• to comply with the resident's personalised care plan and future plans,
• to offer personalised care packages,
• to take carers into account (family and friends).

The multiple interactions between long-term care nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the elderly help to preserve residents' autonomy and health.

If the individual is not sufficiently dependent to be taken into a facility with medical care, the nursing home will make contact with the assisted living facility when information or assessment is required. And an elderly person in assisted living can be helped to move to a facility with medical care if he or she becomes too dependent or requests such a move.

In practice, the agreements signed can also smooth the way for reciprocal temporary stays when facilities are full, or social events where residents can meet at entertainments, meetings, outings, etc. Korian is firmly rooted in its regions, and this is key to putting together personalised solutions as close as possible to the elderly person's original home. 'This is genuinely a win-win relationship, and we want to extend it so that the elderly derive the greatest possible benefit from it,' says Geneviève Moreaux in conclusion.

      3) Non -profit organisations welcomed

Many non-profits have become involved in our nursing homes through social partner agreements. These organisations typically provide practical assistance to the elderly and their families and friends. They include France Alzheimer, Vivons au Doyenné, Siel Bleu, les Blouses Roses, Familles Rurales, etc., and their involvement is greatly valued by residents and their families for the friendliness, support and activities it offers. Some of them build or rebuild social ties, encourage residents to communicate or share their feelings with each other, and help maintain their intellectual and physical capabilities. Others provide information, training and psychological support to families of those suffering form Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders. Together, they bring new life to nursing homes by providing sporting and cultural activities, beauty treatments, opportunities for intergenerational interaction, and support groups for carers.

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