Addressing alternate level of care issue facing older Canadians: A co-designed comprehensive data analytics approach
Alternate Level of Care (ALC) is a designation assigned to patients (primarily older adults) in acute care when it has been determined by their medical team that they no longer require the intensity of services provided within their current location and await either an appropriate safe return to their home environment or placement in a community care setting, such as home care or residential care. This transition is not always easy nor is it immediately possible. Unfortunately, ALC-designated older adults often observe a rapid decline in their health and well-being as a result of the situation. This is not a simple problem but rather a complex issue involving various health care stakeholders including hospital networks, Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINs), service providers engaged in the process of either patient rehabilitation or transfer, as well as patients and their families.
"The funding from the Labarge Centre to support this project will provide decision makers with enhanced insights regarding older patient mobility through the healthcare system. Through these insights, it is anticipated that ALC waiting time can be better managed and appropriate resources can be assessed to ensure that older patients are receiving the right care at the right place and time."
As the demographic trends continue, an increasing number of older patients will find themselves in this inconvenient, health-threatening and stressful situation. It is, therefore, clear why ALC is a leading health care challenge with implications resonating throughout the health care network. This study aims to improve the decision-making process for alleviating the ALC issue by employing relevant data and implementing advanced data analytics. As a result of improved decision making informed by these analytics, ALC patients will benefit from smoother transitions to appropriate care.