Rapid Response Nurses

Rapid Response Nurses support patients and families dealing with complex conditions and high care needs, with an aim to ensure smooth transitions from hospital to home, reduce risk of hospital readmission or avoidable emergency department visits. 

The program is intended for short-term intensive assistance and doesn’t replace the services provided by other care providers. We work collaboratively with your existing care team including hospital staff, primary care providers, community paramedicine programs and community support services agencies. Rapid response nurses focus on a successful hospital discharge and providing the support needed to remain safely at home so you can avoid an unnecessary return to the hospital. 

Rapid response nurses also help:

  • Ensure homes are safe and supports are in place as quickly as possible
  • Teaching you how to manage your symptoms, and when and who to ask for help
  • Review prescribed medications so patients understand what they’re used for, possible side effects and how to take them correctly
  • Arrange follow-up medical appointments or tests
  • Make sure everyone on the care team, including primary care providers, have the necessary information for follow-up care

Patients leaving hospital may be eligible for the Rapid Response Nurse program if they:

  • Live at home or in a retirement residence
  • Have multiple complex medical issues
  • Have multiple medications or change in medication routine
  • Have difficulty with disease management
  • Have a new challenging diagnosis
  • Have a limited support network

To be referred to the program, please speak to the hospital-based Ontario Health atHome care coordinator.

Information for current patients receiving Rapid Response Nurse supports

Keeping track of your medications

You may have heard your doctor use the term medication reconciliation. This means that you and your health care team, work together to keep track of the medications you take.

When does this happen?

This can happen anywhere in the health care system, such as when you visit the hospital, move from one area of the hospital to another, when you leave the hospital or visit your doctor or clinic.

What is the patient’s role?

You should bring all your medications (or a list) to all health care appointments, and identify any allergies you have, including to medications, food and environmental.

Keep your list accurate and up-to-date, and include all prescription and non-prescription medications, such as over the counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Medication safety tips:

  • Only use one pharmacy
  • Read medication information 
  • Ask questions
  • Throw away old medications
  • Do not use other people’s medications
  • Store medications in one place in your home
Make a referral