Background: Elderly patients discharged from hospital currently experience fragmented care, repeated and lengthy emergency department (ED) visits, relapse into their earlier condition, and rapid cognitive and functional decline (5,28,34). The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) program at Mount Sinai Hospital uses innovative strategies such as transition coaches, follow-up calls and patient self-care guides to improve the care transition experiences of the frail elderly patients from hospitals to the community (24,25,45,130,131). The ACE program reduced lengths of hospital stay and readmissions for elderly patients, increased patient satisfaction, and saved the healthcare system over $6 million in 2014 (132).
In 2016, the ACE program was implemented at one hospital in the Centre intégré en santé et en services sociaux de Chaudière-Appalaches (CISSS CA), a large integrated healthcare organization in Quebec, with a focus on improving transitions between hospital and the community for the elderly. This project used rapid, iterative user-centered design prototyping and a “Wiki-suite” (a free online database containing evidence-based knowledge tools in all areas of healthcare and an accompanying training course) to engage multiple stakeholders including a patient partner to improve care for elderly patients. Within this one year project, we developed a context-adapted ACE intervention with the support of the Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and the Canadian Frailty Network.
Our goal is to scale up the ACE program for elderly care transition to three new hospital sites within the CISSS CA, using the Wiki-suite to allow for further context-adaptation of the program in these new hospitals.
Objectives: 1) Implement a context-adapted ACE program in three 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 ACE program improves care transitions for the elderly; 3) Identify underlying mechanisms by which the Wiki-suite contributes to context-adaptation and local uptake of knowledge tools.
Methods: Objective 1: Staggered implementation of the ACE program across the three CISSS CA sites; interrupted time series to measure the impact on hospital-level outcomes; pre/post cohort study to measure the impact of the new program on patient, caregiver and clinical outcomes. Objectives 2 and 3: Parallel mixed-methods process evaluation study to understand the mechanisms by which our context-adapted 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.
Expected results: This project will provide much needed evidence on effective KT strategies to adapt best practices to local context in transition of care for the elderly. The knowledge generated through this project will support future scale-up of the ACE program and our wiki methodology to other settings in Canada.