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emergency medicine, patient-centered care, community medicine, technology
Access to emergency and acute care health services are at risk as our aging population brings with them a new wave of complexity and chronicity. This stems from patients receiving fragmented primary care that neglects the necessary monitoring and continuity to provide adequate management for chronic diseases. The increase in prevalence of Alternate Level of Care designations is a symptom of this inefficiency. These patients consume specialized hospital resources despite being capable of receiving effective treatment in the community. The Canadian government has acknowledged the issue of hospital gridlock and has responded by investing in post-acute care resources. While this is a positive step forward, upstream approaches that include preventative medicine may be the key to sustainability. Innovative system-level changes that optimize community and interprofessional care such as integrated home monitoring and interoperable medical records may curb the projected increase in access and financial burden.