Overview: Typically, long-term care home (LTCH) residents are transferred to hospital to access intravenous (IV) therapy. The aim of this study was to pilot-test an in-home IV therapy service, and to describe outcomes and key informants’ perceptions of this service. This year-long study conducted in Hamilton and Grimsby with a team of interdisciplinary study partners including Medical Pharmacies Group Limited, the Nurse-Led Outreach Team, the HNHB Long-Term Care Council, Community Care Access Centre, Behavioural Support Ontario, Emergency Medical Services, emergency department physicians, and geriatricians.

Building Capacity in LTC to Support IV Therapy

Study Type: Observational
Participants (N): 4 long-term care homes
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Methods: In-home IV therapy service was pilot-tested in four LTCH in the HamiltonNiagara region, Ontario. Interviews were conducted with six caregivers of residents who received IV therapy and ten key informants representing LTC home staff and service partners to assess their perceptions of the service. A chart review was conducted to describe the resident population served and service implementation.
Results: Twelve residents received IV therapy. This service potentially avoided nine emergency department visits and reduced hospital lengths of stay for three residents whose IV therapy was initiated in hospital. There were no adverse events. The service was well received by caregivers and key informants, as it provided care in a familiar environment and was perceived to be less stressful and better quality care than when provided in hospital.
Conclusion: IV therapy is feasible to implement in LTCHs, particularly when there are supportive resources available and clinical pathways to support decision-making. This service has the potential to increase capacity in LTCHs to provide medical care.