Research

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2015-2016 Research Competition

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Accreditation Canada, HealthCareCAN and the Canadian Home Care Association are pleased to announce the results of a unique research competition that brought the four partners together to help improve the transitions of care between hospital and home for the frail elderly population.  

Dr. Andrew Costa, assistant professor and holder of the Schlegel Chair in Clinical Epidemiology and Aging at McMaster University, and his research team have been awarded $50,000 for the 2015-2016 Research Competition for their study entitled “The transition from the emergency department into home care (Trans-ED-HC) project: A mixed methods study of patterns of patient safety events and transition processes.”

The four partners came together to support a project that would help improve the safety for complex frail elderly patients transitioning from the hospital to their own home, and recommend innovative strategies and/or tools to help the patient, their family caregiver(s), and health care team work together. The call for proposals was launched last November, and 13 applications were submitted. The proposals were reviewed by expert reviewers external to the four partner organizations. 

While each proposal brought interesting and important ideas to the forefront, Dr. Costa’s proposal combined an elegant research design with the potential for results with national applicability.

Dr. Costa’s project promises to yield much needed information about the issues for frail elderly patients being discharged from hospital emergency rooms. The objectives of the study are:

  1. To describe the key challenges in the ED to home care transition process among relevant providers as well as patients and their informal caregivers.
  2. To examine the incidence of patient safety and other adverse health events among ED patients who recently transitioned to home care from the ED.
  3. To quantify the influence of poor referral processes (delays in assessment, delays in admission, etc.) on the incidence of patient safety and other adverse health events among ED patients who recently transitioned to home care from the ED.
  4. To quantify the influence of patient safety and other adverse health events on negative health outcomes (death, LTC admission, ED re-admission, and hospitalization) among ED patients who recently transitioned to home care from the ED.
  5. To identify and prioritize potential process improvements in ED to home care transitions that are likely to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Costa’s study includes a capstone component that will allow the researchers to explore their findings with other experts nationally.