Elderly patients discharged from hospital experience fragmented care, repeated and lengthy emergency department (ED) visits, relapse into their earlier condition, and rapid cognitive and functional decline. The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) program at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada uses innovative strategies, such as transition coaches, to improve the care transition experiences of frail elderly patients. The ACE program reduced the lengths of hospital stay and readmission for elderly patients, increased patient satisfaction, and saved the health care system over Can $4.2 million (US $2.6 million) in 2014. In 2016, a context-adapted ACE program was implemented at one hospital in the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Chaudière-Appalaches (CISSS-CA) with a focus on improving transitions between hospitals and the community. The quality improvement project used an intervention strategy based on iterative user-centered design prototyping and a “Wiki-suite” (free web-based database containing evidence-based knowledge tools) to engage multiple stakeholders.
The objectives of this study are to (1) implement a context-adapted CISSS-CA ACE program in four hospitals in the CISSS-CA and measure its impact on patient-, caregiver-, clinical-, and hospital-level outcomes; (2) identify underlying mechanisms by which our context-adapted CISSS-CA ACE program improves care transitions for the elderly; and (3) identify underlying mechanisms by which the Wiki-suite contributes to context-adaptation and local uptake of knowledge tools.
Objective 1 will involve staggered implementation of the context-adapted CISSS-CA ACE program across the four CISSS-CA sites and interrupted time series to measure the impact on hospital-, patient-, and caregiver-level outcomes. Objectives 2 and 3 will involve a parallel mixed-methods process evaluation study to understand the mechanisms by which our context-adapted CISSS-CA ACE program improves care transitions for the elderly and by which our Wiki-suite contributes to adaptation, implementation, and scaling up of geriatric knowledge tools.
Data collection started in January 2019. As of January 2020, we enrolled 1635 patients and 529 caregivers from the four participating hospitals. Data collection is projected to be completed in January 2022. Data analysis has not yet begun. Results are expected to be published in 2022. Expected results will be presented to different key internal stakeholders to better support the effort and resources deployed in the transition of seniors. Through key interventions focused on seniors, we are expecting to increase patient satisfaction and quality of care and reduce readmission and ED revisit.
This study will provide evidence on effective knowledge translation strategies to adapt best practices to the local context in the transition of care for elderly people. The knowledge generated through this project will support future scale-up of the ACE program and our wiki methodology in other settings in Canada.