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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

CAT 2015-40

Anticipatory Long-term care Electronic Resident Triage Tool (ALERT) for Canadian Long-Term Care Homes

This project aims to develop a triage tool for long-term care homes (LTCHs), similar to e-INTERACT in the United States, to proactively identify residents at risk of transfer to emergency departments (ED) and/or death in the GTA, with potential for spread across Canada.

Possible Research Results

Anticipated findings: We anticipate we will develop a triage tool based on e-INTERACT for LTCHs in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with potential for spread across Canada.

Impact of findingsPointClickCare’s extensive involvement in Canada’s LTCH electronic health record market will facilitate spread of ALERT system-wide across the country. If successful, it is expected to set the standard in early identification and prompting of LTCH staff to review care plans proactively, thereby reducing potentially avoidable hospitalizations (PAHs). Development of such an IT solution for Canadian LTCHs is expected to transform frontline staff’s documentation and communication practices. Coupled with education on palliative care, this is expected to promote proactive individualized care plan reviews and enhanced in-house care, which has been proven to reduce PAHs.

About the Project

Seniors hospitalized for non-life-threatening conditions are at higher risk of confusion, complications and death compared to elders treated at home. Potentially avoidable hospitalizations (PAH) may occur if LTCHs staff do not identify early warning signs of illness, missing opportunities to modify care plans before residents are in crisis.

For more details on the project rationale, hypothesis, objectives and research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Michelle Grinman, MD, FRCPC, MPH -- University of Calgary

Greta Cummings, RN, PhD, FCAHS, FAAN -- University of Alberta

Co-Investigators:

Tracey Human, RN, CHPCN(C) -- Palliative Pain & Symptom Management Consultation/Toronto Service (PPSMC)

Aynharan Sinnarajah, MD, MPH, CCFP -- Alberta Health Services/University of Calgary

Hannah Wong, PhD -- School of Health Policy and Management, York University

Robert Wu, MD, MSc -- University Health Network

Irene Ying, MD, MHSc, CCFP -- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Stuart Feldman -- PointClickCare

Daile Moffat, RN, MBA -- Sienna Senior Living

Project Contact: Dr. Michelle Grinman -- michelle.grinman@albertahealthservices.ca

CAT 2015-40

Key words: long-term care; potentially avoidable hospitalizations; trigger tool; end-of-life