An App to Inform On-Call Doctors About Long-term Care Residents’ Wishes, Beliefs & Values

Clinician uses a digital tablet in a hospital

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Paula Chidwick, Director, Research and Corporate Ethics, Ethicist

Project Title: CONNECT POET APP: Connecting On-Call Physicians with Residents’ Health Care Directives Using Prevention of Error-Based Transfers (PoET)

What is the issue?  

Physicians working on an on-call basis at longterm care homes often do not have information about residents’ wishes, beliefs, and valuesSometimes this leads to inappropriate transfers to hospital emergency departments.  

What did we do? 

We conducted brainstorming sessions and briefed a developer on the requirements for designing a prototype software application. Our goal was to create an app that would provide on-call doctors with information about residents’ healthcare directives.  

We consulted the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation Seniors Advisory Panel for their input on the concept. The panel identified three areas of improvement: the direction of information flow would work best from residents to physicians, the app would need to be easy to use, and it must protect private health information. Thirty older adults or people with cognitive impairment, 15 informal caregivers, and 15 clinicians tested the Prevention of Error-Based Transfers app.  

What did we find?  

The app needs further development. It needs to be more user-friendly and protect residents’ private health information better. Seniors want to share what is important to them around healthcare decision-making and that healthcare providers have an opportunity to respect their wishes.