Improving the quality of inpatient care for people with Parkinson’s disease in Alberta

Investigators: Davide Martino, Veronica Bruno, Camila Aquino, Christopher Hahn, Zahra Goodarzi, Janis Miyasaki, Fang Ba, Steven Peters

Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects about 70,000 Canadians, and its prevalence is expected to double by 20401. Every year, one-third of people with PD (PwPD) require inpatient hospital care, 1.5 times more often than peers without PD2. This is primarily due to infections, falls and hip/femur fractures, PD dementia and psychosis, and delirium. PwPD face specific inpatient-related challenges.

For almost 75% of hospitalized PwPD, inaccurate administration of anti-parkinsonian drugs and use of agents that can aggravate PD motor and non-motor symptoms will occur2. Partly due to these errors, PwPD experience greater length of stay, symptom deterioration and mortality, are more likely to receive post-hospital long-term care placement and have higher readmission rates within 1 year3-5.

The present time is advantageous to innovate in this field in Alberta given the recent province-wide launch of Connect Care (CC), a highly flexible EHR that allows rapid implementation and broad dissemination of tools aiding clinicians’ decision-making.

Our Objective 1 is to leverage the versatility of the CC system to design and implement an evidence-based care process that aims to improve hospital safety, experiences, and outcomes of hospitalized PwPD. In pursuing this, we will use qualitative methods to translate the PF recommendations into a sustainable clinical decision-making tool applicable at a province-wide scale within Alberta Health Services (AHS). Our

Objective 2 is to develop and pilot an educational curriculum focused on principles informing the PF recommendations, targeted to hospital staff and clinicians involved with the inpatient management of PwPD. Our proposal is strongly aligned with many of the priority research areas targeted by this funding opportunity, in particular access to care, collaboration across Zones, professions and specialties, equity, improvements in clinical practice, and professional training.