We examined the impact of interprofessional collaboration via ICT upon the health outcome of the elderly in a home care setting. We found that interprofessional communication through a digital platform significantly decreased the risk of death and admission to hospital or nursing home in the intervention group compared to the control group.
Information communication technology (ICT) is crucial to modern communication and information sharing. Effective interprofessional collaboration is essential in the care of elderly people. However, little is known about the effects of ICT on care provision for elderly people in a home setting. This retrospective cohort study examines the impact of interprofessional collaboration using ICT on the health outcomes of elderly home care patients.
The Team® mobile application promotes cooperation in local medical health care. It enables providers to obtain and share patient information within a single, cloud-based platform. We collected and analyzed data from 554 patients from Nagaoka (Niigata prefecture, Japan) who received home care services from 2015 to 2020. We calculated the cumulative hazard ratio (HR) of death or admission to a hospital or nursing home for patients whose information was shared among different professions using the platform, and for those whose information was not shared. We used a Cox proportional hazards model, adjusted for covariates, and applied propensity score matching.
The average age of the study population was 83.5 years; the median follow-up period was 579.0 days. The risk of death or admission to a hospital or nursing home significantly decreased in the information-shared group, compared with the control group (adjusted HR: 0.47 [p < 0.01]). Significance remained after propensity score matching (HR: 0.58; p = 0.01).
Interprofessional collaboration using ICT may reduce the risk of death or admission to a hospital or nursing home among elderly home care patients in Japan.