Examining Aged Care Transitions

Examining Aged Care Transitions

Start/End Dates: 2014 - 2016

Dr. Greta Cummings, University of Alberta (PI)
Dr. Judith Spiers, University of Alberta
Carol Anderson, Alberta Health Services, Continuing Care
Dr. Carole Estabrooks, University of Alberta
Dr. Carole Robinson, University of British Columbia
Dr. Brian Rowe, University of Alberta
Dr. Colin Reid, University of British Columbia
Dr. Garnet Cummings, University of Alberta

Funder: Covenant Health, Network of Excellence in Seniors' Health and Wellness

Grant Amount: $199,875

Description: Examining Aged Care Transitions (EXACT) is a two-phase study that builds on the findings of the OPTIC research program. In the OPTIC program, we found that while healthcare providers agreed that many transfers were necessary, others could have been avoided. A key finding was that healthcare professionals rarely agreed on the necessity or avoidability of any one particular transfer.


The purpose of this follow-up study is to investigate the decision-making process around transitions of long term care (LTC) facility residents to emergency departments (EDs). The aim is to identify the attributes of avoidable transitions and the factors influencing decisions to transfer in ambiguous cases. Our ultimate goal is to determine ways to support decision making which can minimize the number of avoidable transitions, and thereby minimize undue strain on nursing home residents.

Managers, directors, nurses (RNs/LPNs), healthcare aides (HCAs), and members of the Family Caregiver Council from the 8 LTC facilities that had participated in the first OPTIC study will be consulted in the first phase of this study. Qualitative methods, including open-ended interviews and focus groups, will guide this process. We will also speak with the regional Medical Directors' group and EMS managers. This phase, including an orientation session at each facility, will continue until April 2015.

In the second phase of the project, interview and focus group data will be used to create short online surveys on avoidable transitions. In this phase, we will invite nurses, managers, physicians from all 26 long term facilities that participated in the first OPTIC study to complete the surveys. We will also invite all EMS staff in the Edmonton Metro region. Recruitment of participants and the survey will run from July to September, 2015.