Improving emergency care for people with developmental disabilities

One in two adults with developmental disabilities in Ontario will visit the emergency department (ED) at least once in two years. They are more likely than other adults to visit the ED and they are more likely to have repeat visits. ED visits are stressful for those with developmental disabilities, their caregivers, and ED staff. The quality of visits could be improved with better recognition, communication, planning, and linkages between hospital and community resources.

The Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD) program worked with three emergency departments in Ontario to improve the quality of visits for patients with developmental disabilities. The researchers worked with a team at each ED to identify and implement relevant practice changes. The researchers assessed barriers and facilitators to implementation, and evaluated the extent to which the planned changes were implemented.

Read this HCARDD Snapshot to find out about this initiative and its outcomes. HCARDD Snapshots present summaries of research in the field of developmental disabilities. You can also view the video below. And check out this Emergency Care Tool Kit.

H-CARDD is a research program with the primary goal of enhancing the overall health and well-being of people with developmental disabilities through improved health care policy and services. H-CARDD research is conducted by dedicated teams of scientists, policymakers, and health care providers.