EDDIE Research Project

CQUniversity's Early Detection of Deterioration in Elderly (EDDIE) project is working on research that aims to enable residents in aged care to stay at home and prevent unnecessary emergency department presentations.

Professor Trudy Dwyer introducing the EDDIE Research project



So EDDIE is Early Detection of Deterioration In the Elderly and it's about identifying when someone becomes unwell in an aged care facility, intervening early and keeping them at home.  So specifically what we're trying to solve is how do we upskill the staff in aged care facilities so that they’re best skilled to keep people in the aged care facility and how do we save healthcare dollars as well, by treating people in the aged care facility and stopping them from presenting to the emergency department at hospital.  PresCare, which is a residential aged care facility here in Queensland, have developed up what they’ve called as a subacute program, and what subacute is, is they've identified that their residents in their facilities, when they become unwell, they wanted to keep them at home so to speak in the facility rather than transferring them up to the hospital, because when someone who’s elderly gets transferred to the hospital, we find that their length of stay is long in hospital and quite often they may return back to the facility in a worse condition than they presented within the first instance.  And so PresCare have developed up the subacute program which supports staff by providing more equipment, providing extra training so that they can keep the residents at home so can they identify when they’re unwell

Our relationship began back in 2013 and we've actually been looking at how we can improve the outcomes for residents in looking at alternatives to transfer to hospital. For PresCare, success actually means that we were able to meet the choices and preferences of our care recipients and for a lot of them they don't want to go to hospital, and if we are able to meet that need, that provides a very positive outcome for the care recipient and for PresCare.  Out of the results that we’ve actually found, could actually be a benefit across the aged care industry as a whole.  Working with CQUni actually gives us validated evidence of the practical applications that we’re putting in place.

We have reduced hospital length stays, on an average, they’ll stay in hospital three days shorter and we also found that we can prevent ninety-five admissions for every thousand residents that we have identified, and over time we're finding that we can actually save millions of dollars as a result of doing that.  We’ve also found from an industry perspective, it saves healthcare dollars.  It saves the Q care dollar because we’re not transferring residents and it’s taking longer in hospital.  The program, the subacute program in the aged care facility only costs $4,500 to implement and we can save millions of dollars over time with this.  We’re starting to translate the knowledge that we've learned with implementing within the PresCare sector over into the acute care sector with aged care.  So we're now working with Queensland Health with early detection of deterioration and implementing some of the strategies that we've identified in the past.  So I think that the big difference with what the EDDIE project is – is to a lot of other studies that are around, is it’s about empowering the staff within the aged care facilities to care for residents in that area.  They’ve identified it’s important to keep people at home and they’ve implemented a strategy to do that.  And working in collaboration with us at CQU, we’ve helped to identify that yes it does actually work, we’ve got the evidence that it does work, and yes we’ve got the evidence now that it will save the healthcare dollar.