The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) has been chosen to participate in a new 12-month initiative to improve health care for older adults by adapting Mount Sinai Hospital’s proven Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Strategy.
During a March 31 announcement attended by the Federal Minister of Health, the Honourable Jane Philpott, TSH was recognized along with 16 other organizations from across the country, along with an international team in Iceland, to participate in the new ACE Collaborative organized by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the Canadian Frailty Network.
The ACE Strategy is a seamless model of care for older adults, spanning the patient care continuum from the emergency department to inpatient, ambulatory, and community care settings. Geriatricians, psychiatrists, and other physicians, as well as nurses, social workers, therapists, pharmacists, and dieticians, work together to provide coordinated care for older patients. The ACE Collaborative is based on Mount Sinai’s ACE Strategy, led by Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics for the Sinai Health System.
The CFHI-Canadian Frailty Network partnership is providing each Canadian team with up to $40,000 of funding, as well as online learning tools, educational webinars, and coaching from experts in elder care and quality improvement, to assist in implementing the ACE Strategy in their facility.
“The dedicated team of specialists at TSH’s Acute Care for the Elderly program is excited to collaborate with Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as the CFHI and Canadian Frailty Network, to integrate their internationally recognized best practices for elder care,” said Tabatha Bowers, TSH’s designated project lead. “This collaboration will enhance the quality of care we’re able to provide to Scarborough’s seniors.”
Canada faces a major demographic shift as the number of people aged 65 years and older is expected to double in the next 20 years. The health challenge facing older seniors is more acute, with over one million Canadians now medically frail – a common, yet under-recognized health state where older patients experience chronic illness, multiple health problems, and poorer health outcomes. Although older adults account for 16 per cent of Canada’s population, they represent 42 per cent of hospitalizations, 58 per cent of hospital days, and 60 per cent of hospital related expenditures. The ACE Strategy addresses these challenges by ensuring better transitions in care between the hospital and the community, and focusing on providing elder care in the right place, at the right time, by the right team of providers.
ACE best practices include:
- Tools to help emergency department staff and others identify and address the needs of high risk older adults.
- Deployment of specially trained geriatric nurses and volunteers who have dedicated training in addressing the needs of frail older adults in a variety of settings.
- Unique elder-friendly protocols to better address common care issues like mobility, pain management, constipation, delirium prevention and management, and falls prevention.
- Staff education at every level to promote expertise in caring for older adults and an elder-friendly culture.
- Hospital units and spaces physically adapted to promote mobility and to minimize disorientation.
- Developing a variety of care transition initiatives, including virtual and actual home visits to ensure patients are more likely to return home and better able to access care in their own homes.