Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Designation

Overview and clinical staff and physician tools, supporting ALC designation across Nova Scotia Health.

Purpose of a Standard ALC Designation Process

High occupancy rates and volumes of long-stay patients continue to be a challenge across Nova Scotia Health. A standardized, organization-wide process for Alternate Level of Care (ALC) designation has been identified as a strategy to help understand and manage patient flow pressures.

The ALC Designation Project is designed to standardize the ALC designation process in all acute care settings within Nova Scotia Health.

Through the promotion of accurate and consistent ALC designation, documentation, and reporting the project aims to facilitate agile, operational decision-making by providing a better understanding of our patient population and patient flow pressures.

This will help improve patient flow and service planning by:

  • Making it easier to identify patients who no longer require acute care.
  • Helping us to understand what supports are required to successfully discharge ALC patients to their home or best community environment. 
  • Enabling executive leadership to advocate to government for additional community resources, where necessary, to support the ALC population effectively.

The ALC Designation Project includes the following key components:

Benefits of a Standard ALC Designation Process

A standard process for ALC designation implemented through the ALC Designation Project will have the following benefits for clinical staff, physicians, and patients:

  • Streamlined processes for more accurate and efficient service planning.
  • Consistent ALC patient documentation and accurate reporting across NSH facilitating a better understanding of our patient population and patient flow pressures.
  • Improved alignment and collaboration within the interprofessional teams supporting discharge.
  • The ability to identify patients who no longer require acute care improving patient flow and service planning.
  • The ability to identify supports required to discharge ALC patients enabling executive leadership to advocate to the government for additional community resources to support the ALC population effectively.

Provincial ALC Designation Project Overview