In Canada, 3 out of 4 Canadians aged 65 and older have at least one chronic condition, while 1 in 4 seniors reported having three or more. Caring for complex patients who usually have multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is one of the biggest challenges facing our healthcare system. For patients, the lack of coordination and continuity of care as they transfer between healthcare settings and healthcare providers (HCPs) often results in a higher risk of readmission, suboptimal and fragmented care plans, delays in required medical intervention, inadequate self-care, and confusion on whom they should contact when they have questions. For the patient's care team, they often have no indication how patients are doing between clinic visits unless the patient can provide a log of their home measurements (e.g., blood pressure). Therefore, they are unable to detect and intervene if their patient's health is worsening between visits.
In order to address this increasing need to bridge the current gap in clinical management and self-care of complex patients during their transition from healthcare settings to home care, our team aims to design, implement and evaluate the SMaRT (Safe, Managed, and Responsive Transitions) Clinic, a nurse-led integrated care model facilitated by telemonitoring (TM). Specifically, the SMaRT Clinics aim to meaningfully introduce a nurse (or nurse practitioner) role to improve clinical coordination across patient care teams and reinforce proper self-care education through the use of telemonitoring. This project will be conducted in two phases across four years; Phase I: Design and Development, and Phase II: Implementation and Effectiveness Evaluation. Phase II research activities include enrolling 350 patients with complex chronic conditions in the SMaRT clinics across four study sites. The implementation and effectiveness of the SMaRT clinics will be evaluated through a mix of semi-structured interviews, ethnographic observation, patient questionnaires, and analyses of health utilization outcomes using propensity-matched controls from the ICES provincial database.
William Osler Health System (+3 Sites)