A Tool For Helping Long-Term Care Residents Avoid Hospitalizations

High angle view of nurse walking around hospital while looking at a medical chart on tablet

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Catherine Kohm, Project Director, Residential Care Integration

Project Title: Avoiding Hospitalizations for Long Term Care Residents: The PREVIEW-ED© Tool

What is the issue?

Long-term care residents with certain health conditions, such as urinary tract infections, may not need to go to hospital emergency rooms. Our care workers complete a tool called PREVIEW-ED© daily for every resident to identify people with early stages of health decline. In pilot studies, the paper tool decreased preventable transfers to emergency departments by 71%. But it was difficult to use, challenging for summarizing information, and not environmentally friendly.

What did we do?

We designed a digital tool called the PREVIEW-ED© e-Tool. We trained 454 long-term care workers how to use it. Our goal was to test it in 64 long-term care homes.

What did we find?

There is a clear need for an electronic version of the tool. It was easier to use and incorporate into daily work flow than the paper tool. More than one digital solution was needed for our innovation to work. Among 64 long-term care homes that signed up for our test, 35 had Point Click Care software in place, 17 were waiting for it, and 12 homes had no existing software systems. Two homes implemented our PREVIEW-ED© app successfully.