Choosing the best acquired brain injury provider for you

How do you know which ABI rehabilitation provider is right for you? Navigating the system can be complicated. HIRO is here to help. Review our HIRO Checklist and know what to ask when comparing providers and choose the right care.

Tell me about your clinical programming:

HIRO welcomes individuals from across Ontario to seven different residential homes in Hamilton, St. Catharines and Vineland, tailored to various care needs. We also host group services (i.e. day programs) in Hamilton, Haldimand and Brant and provide outreach services throughout these regions. HIRO’s expertise is working with individuals with moderate to severe ABI in the community. We leverage best practice, like the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s (ONF) guidelines for moderate to severe brain Injury. HIRO is grateful for the work done by an esteemed panel of multi-disciplinary health care professionals to inform our clinical practice.

With the benefit of perspectives from psychiatry, psychology, primary care, ethics, occupational therapy, speech pathology, nursing as well as clients and families with lived experience, we have an integrated and collaborative philosophy to help people achieve outcomes that matter. This approach works well for clients with chronic conditions, including mental health. Our focus on strong partnerships with hospitals, primary care and community agencies smooths transitions of care and is effective in supporting clients who struggle with the social determinants of health.

How are you funded?

HIRO is proudly a nonprofit organization, which allows us to put people before profits. We have four funding sources: the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Local Health Integration Network, fundraising and fee-for-service; each working to ensure the same high standards as overseen by our volunteer Board of Directors who are committed to ensuring the best care for the people we serve.

How will my prescriptions be managed in residential care?

HIRO works with one dedicated pharmacy to ensure quality care, personalized services for our clients and minimizing errors. Smartpacks, electronic ordering system, medicinal cannabis and administration are all a part of the way we do business. Our staff are specially trained to administer, manage and handle medication safely and according to best practices in alignment with the Institute for Safe Medication Practice Canada (ISMPC) standards.

How do you manage challenging behaviours?

Our behavioural specialist is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) with an excellent team including psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech language pathology. We also have a Behaviour Standards Review Committee comprised of internal and external professionals to ensure we follow-best practice and to oversee Behaviour Support Plans (BSP) that are developed with clients and their families. Every person has an individualized rehabilitation program based on skill building and functional goal attainment to help manage behaviours throughout the recovery journey.

How do you collaborate with other providers and share clinical information securely?

HIRO is very proud to be authorized by ClinicalConnect, a secure, web-based portal that provides physicians and clinicians with real-time access to their patients’ electronic medical information from all acute care hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks’ Home & Community Care Services and Regional Cancer Programs in South West Ontario, plus various provincial data repositories. ClinicalConnect is a fundamental tool in bridging the gap between disparate information systems spanning a wide geographical area and multiple regional health care facilities.

How do you improve quality of life and help with transitions toward independence?

HIRO’s staff are highly specialized in ABI and are very dedicated to the people they serve. HIRO has certified Recreation Therapists who develop and lead purposeful activities to increase goal attainment, quality of life and overall well being in a safe environment. The activities cover the domains of social, cognitive, emotional and physical skills that are transitional back into the community.

How do you ensure client safety and maintain confidentiality?

All staff have mandatory continuing education in crisis intervention and a comprehensive training in First Aid, Mental Health First Aid and Infection Prevention and Control. Clients’ personal and medical records are protected in strict compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) and HIRO complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to ensure person-centered care.

Is the care time limited?

Consistent with our person-centered approach, HIRO offers a continuum of services as clients progress toward higher independence. Our experience shows that brains do not recover on a predictable care path, like a hip or a knee, that is why we focus on client-driven, attainable goals. We support each person on their own unique journey in conjunction with partners involved in their care.

Do you provide care 24/7?

Six of our seven homes are staffed to the highest standards 24 hours per day. In addition, a 24 hour helpline is available for people in our transitional housing and group and outreach services.

Can you organize direct billing for services funded through insurance?

HIRO is proud to be licensed by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), formerly the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) so billings can be done directly to insurance companies through Health Claims for Auto Insurance (HCAI). This process can relieve clients and their families from the burden of invoices and complex money management when they need to focus on recovery.

Providing quality care can be a challenge. How do you know you’re doing a good job?

HIRO is accredited with “Exemplary” standing by Accreditation Canada, demonstrating our commitment to the highest standards of quality in key areas including leadership, client care, medication management, infection prevention and control and health and safety.