About Digital Bridge
What is the Digital Bridge?
The Digital Bridge is a research project that will integrate two tested platforms: the Care Connector and ePRO technology solutions.
Digital health technologies can play an important role in improving person-centred communication across clinical settings and clinicians. This aim of this research project is to develop and test a Digital Bridge by connecting communication technologies already in use in hospital and primary care/community settings to improve communication between providers in hospital and in primary care, patients and family caregivers from admission to 6 months post-discharge.
How do the platforms work?
SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation) is a communication model used in healthcare settings to facilitate prompt and appropriate communication.
I-PASS (illness severity, patient summary, action list, situation awareness and contingency plans, and synthesis by receiver) is a handoff system
PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) are person-centered measures that are used to evaluate and monitor a patient's physical, mental, and social health
Care Connector is an electronic inter-professional communication and collaboration platform designed and developed at Trillium Health Partners through continuous engagement with clinicians in user co-design combined with agile software development. Care Connector integrates with and complements the hospital health information system by providing communication and collaboration features that fit with clinicians’ workflow.
While Care Connector addresses initial discharge planning and communication/collaboration needs in the care transition process, it does not provide ongoing support to patients after transition. Integration of the ePRO tool into this workflow can address this gap, providing ongoing communication and self-management support after patients return home.
The electronic Patient Reported Outcome (ePRO) Tool has been iteratively co-designed, tested and evaluated with patients with complex care needs, their caregivers, and their primary care physicians in Ontario.
The ePRO tool includes two features:
1) My Goal Tracker
2) Health Journal
Patients, caregivers and providers track goal progress and view patient data on the mobile device or portal.
How will we create and test the Digital Bridge?
We will engage with all the technology users to co-design the Digital Bridge. This allows us to ensure the technology will meet the needs of providers, patients and their caregivers.
After we co-design the Digital Bridge, we will test it out in general medicine and rehabilitation services in hospital systems in Toronto (Sinai Health System) and Mississauga (Trillium Health Partners). We will evaluate the Digital Bridge through a pre-post pragmatic trial, assessing impact on patient experience (quality of transition), patient outcomes (quality of life), transition processes (provider communication and teamwork), and system costs (economic evaluation).