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Evaluating the association between the implementation of the PoET Southwest Spread Project and reductions in acute care transfers from long-term care: a quasi-experimental matched cohort study using population-level health administrative data


Objectives — To measure changes in resident-level acute care transfer rates after the PoET Southwest Spread Project (PSSP), and to identify patient and long-term care (LTC) home characteristics associated with acute care transfers after program launch.

Design — Quasi-experimental matched (1:1 ratio) cohort study design using linked population-based health administrative data.

Setting — Sixty publicly funded LTC homes (PSSP = 30; control = 30) in Ontario, Canada, from November 2019 to December 2021.

Methods — We matched 30 PSSP homes to 30 control homes with similar characteristics and described incidence rates for resident-level acute care transfers during the 7-month post-implementation period. We used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate the association between PSSP implementation and acute care transfers during the post-implementation period. We adjusted resident-level characteristics (ie, age, sex, comorbidity status) and home-level characteristics (ie, rurality status, profit model, COVID-19 impact). We identified a decedent sub-cohort to measure transfer patterns during the last 2 months of life.

Results — A matched cohort of 8894 residents (PSSP = 4103; control = 4791) was captured. Incidence rates of transfers increased during the post-implementation period for both PSSP (78.8 to 80.9 transfers per 1000 person-months) and control residents (66.9 to 67.9 transfers per 1000 person-months). After adjusting for covariates of interest, PSSP exposure was associated with a reduction in acute care transfers during the post-implementation period after adjusting for covariates (incidence rate ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.62–0.87; P = .0002). Older age and select health regions were associated with reduced transfers, whereas higher comorbidity status and higher COVID-19 outbreak days were associated with increases. Similar patterns persisted for transfers during the last 2 months of life.

Conclusions and Implications — This study systematically evaluated the impact of an ethics-based healthcare intervention in LTC using healthcare utilization databases. PoET implementation is associated with reduced acute care transfer rates, especially in the last 2 months of life in LTC.



Hafid S, Kirkwood D, Elston D, Perez R, Jones A, Costa A, Oliver J, Chidwick P, Nitti T, Siu HYH. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023; Sep 27 [Epub ahead of print].

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