2018 Partnering for a Healthy Community Awards Recipient: Access

Reducing Emergency Department Transfers from Silverthorn Nursing Home

Access Recipient

Transfers from Long-Term Care centres to the Emergency Department carry significant risk, especially in elderly and frail populations. Patients are at risk of delirium, hospital-acquired infections, falls, and loss of muscle mass among other problems. Often times, patients can be treated at the Long-Term Care centre, or be seen semi-urgently in the clinic setting and do not always require transfer to the Emergency Department. Consequently, Silverthorn co-created a novel tool with all relevant stakeholders at Silverthorn Nursing Home to help reduce the number of Emergency Department transfers. The pilot project involved using telemedicine technology to have General Internists evaluate patients who were felt to be clinically deteriorating at Silverthorn.

The vision of this initiative was to allow residents at Silverthorn to remain in the comfort of their own home and be treated there, provided it was safe. These individuals could be seen in a clinic setting at a later date to follow up with symptoms. The project’s aim was to avoid complications associated with Emergency Department transfer and potential admission to hospital thereafter as well as addressing the financial burden of transferring a patient to hospital. This initiative has major impacts in terms of avoidance of complications, cost savings (> $10,000), and quality of life, as most residents prefer staying at the home.

Silverthorn has demonstrated proof of concept of this tool and are in the process of spreading to various other Long-Term Care centres that would benefit from improved access to specialty care.


Partnering Organizations:

  • Silverthorn Care Community
  • Sienna Senior Living
  • Trillium Health Partners