Health chiefs say quickly progressing plans to treat people at home is vital if the service is to cope with a winter resurgence of Covid-19.
Aberdeenshire Integration Joint Board has welcomed proposals to help patients manage their conditions without requiring a hospital visit.
The committee was also given an update on plans to tackle cancer waiting times at NHS Grampian during a virtual meeting yesterday.
Operation Home First has been designed to care for people at home and lower the number of medical emergencies.
This means that capacity can be freed up elsewhere, which could prove important amid increased winter pressures and a possible spike in coronavirus cases.
It is hoped that plans will be fully in place for the system by the end of October.
Angie Wood, interim chief officer of Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, told the meeting: “The more we prevent (emergency cases), the more people are enabled to look after and manage their own conditions, and the more we can provide care in a very planned way.
“That allows us to then move them from the more traumatic incidences of unscheduled care.
“We’ll never be able to completely eradicate this but I think, perhaps as we’ve seen through Covid-19, the more we can make care planned and take the trauma out, the better outcomes we can have for people.”
Members of the board also heard more about a “remobilisation” plan to reduce cancer waiting times and increase coronavirus testing.
Last year NHS Grampian was among the worst in the country for meeting 62-day treatment targets and, while urgent treatments have been continuing amid the lockdown, these efforts are being stepped up to clear the “backlog”.
The health board’s director of finance, Andy Gray, said there are “quite immediate” challenges regarding capacity.
He added: “We’re not just planning for the next nine months, but to signal what we are doing beyond that.
“It’s really important to look to the future and remind ourselves of the really important priorities we had pre-Covid-19, many of which still remain.”