H-CARDD Connects - Issue 3 September 2016
News about research findings, resources and tools to improve the health care of people with developmental disabilities.

Emergency Care

Welcome to H-CARDD Connects! In this newsletter, you will learn about improving emergency care for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) as well as some tools we developed for clinicians providing care to this population. It is well known that emergency department (ED) visits can be very stressful for people with DD and those that support them. Knowing how to provide care to patients with DD in the ED can be challenging for health care providers too. That’s why we explored ways to assist health care providers to adjust their practices and create solutions to optimize the care for their patients with DD. 

If you find this information helpful, please share it with friends and colleagues. For more information visit our website at www.hcardd.ca or email hcardd@camh.ca

Moving Knowledge Into Action

One in two adults with DD in Ontario will visit the emergency department at least once in two years. They are also more likely than other adults to visit the ED and have repeat visits. ED visits are stressful for those with DD, their caregivers, and ED staff. It doesn't have to be this way - The quality of ED visits can improve with better recognition, communication, planning and linkages between hospital and community resources. 

We developed and intervention to improve emergency care. It included training and educating clinicians about recognizing people with DD, adapting care practices, and changing the way discharge information is communicated and shared between ED and the community. With an aim to change practice, we evaluated our own implementation success, and fostered solutions for service providers. We found ED staff improved in terms of awareness of strategies to identify patients with DD and adapt their care, and in their comfort for working with these patients, but also identified areas where more work is needed. Learn more about how you can improve emergency care in your setting; click the 'watch the video' button below, or read the snapshot.

Watch a video

Fostering Solutions

Here is a toolkit we developed that walks you through how to change practice with emergency care providers interested in improving care for this population. Share this toolkit widely. Use the resources in this toolkit as a whole, or pick the pieces that suit your needs, goals, and existing resources. Download the toolkit Improving Emergency Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities: A Toolkit for Providers.

Download the Toolkit
Do you have a question about this research?
Let us know on Twitter at @HCARDD  #askHCARDD

In Case You Missed It 

TEDx Spectrum

Have you checked out the TEDxYorkUSalon Spectrum series on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs)?
Don't miss great talks from self-advocates, families, clinicians and policy makers. The series features a TED talk from H-CARDD Director Yona Lunsky,
“What’s the big emergency?”, where she speaks about improving health care access for adults with ASD, building upon knowledge gleaned from the H-CARDD program.

Addictions in Developmental Disabilities

Read the most recent publication from our Mental Illness and Addictions Team,
Substance-related and addictive disorders among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD): an Ontario population cohort study’. To learn more about the Mental Illness and Addictions Project, visit their page on our website.

Stay in the loop - Check out our news feed on
hcardd.ca or find us online on Facebook and Twitter!

H-CARDD Conversations: Emergency Care

We spoke with two experts in the field about improving emergency care for patients with developmental disabilities and asked them to comment on H-CARDD research findings and how they relate to their work.

“The Emergency Department is the health care safety net and has a special obligation to address the special needs of vulnerable groups at times of crisis.  The DD population is one vulnerable group that has been generally overlooked.” – Dr. Howard Ovens, Mount Sinai Hospital

“These findings identify that there continues to be a need to identify strategies to care for the diverse populations that are cared for in or Emergency Departments.  Research such as this assists with informing best practices in health care education” – Heather Campbell, Quinte Health Care
Read the Full interview

H-CARDD efforts in emergency care will be featured on day two (November 30, 2016) at the 2016 Emergency Department Administration Conference in Toronto. The day will focus on mental health and addictions and is presented by the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Institute (SREMI) in partnership with the Ontario Hospital Association.
Copyright © 2016 Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities, All rights reserved.

Email: hcardd@camh.ca