Improving treatment for seniors in acute care

The Challenge: Hospitalization often leads to reduced functionality and mobility among seniors

In Canada, seniors account for an increasing percentage of hospital admissions. Individuals aged 65 years and older occupy 50 percent of acute care hospital beds. While hospitalization offers patients high-level care during episodes of illness, many seniors are also exposed to risks of further illness and functional decline. Prolonged periods of inactivity and bed rest during hospitalization can cause irreversible loss of function and mobility. One third of seniors who are admitted to acute care are discharged at a significantly reduced level of functional ability, and most will never recover their previous level of independence.

The Improvement Project: Review of evidence-based practices leads to improved strategies

David Thompson, Vice President of Senior Care and Clinical Support Services at Providence Health Care together with Dr. Janet McElhaney, Medical Lead for Seniors Care at HSN and the holder of the HSN Volunteer Association Chair in Geriatric Research at HSN and the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada, set out to reduce the functional decline of seniors after hospitalization. Through his EXTRA project, he conducted an extensive literature review on the application of knowledge in implementing evidence-based practices and effective strategies for putting guidelines into practice. This processes enabled his team to develop an early intervention approach for seniors, as well as multiple strategies to support the implementation within his organization.

The Result: Pilot project tests benefits of early intervention for hospitalized seniors

The EXTRA team branded their early intervention strategy 48/5. It identifies five key areas of patient care that need to occur within the first 48 hours of admission in order to create a care plan that will result in quicker recovery and discharge of older patients from the hospital.

The Impact: Improved outcomes for seniors and decrease in readmissions

Implementation of the guidelines can improve functional outcomes for seniors, reduce admissions to long-term care, and decrease readmissions to acute care, by promoting greater independence within 28 days after discharge.

The EXTRA team branded their early intervention strategy 48/5. It identifies five key areas of patient care that need to occur within the first 48 hours of admission in order to create a care plan that will result in quicker recovery and discharge of older patients from the hospital.

David Thompson image

 

David Thompson
Vice President of Senior Care and Clinical Support Services
Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC

 

To learn more about this project or the EXTRA program, visit cfhi-fcass.ca/EXTRA or email us at info@cfhi-fcass.ca.