IN THIS MINI-SERIES, WE WILL BE TAKING A LOOK BACK AT THE IDIH WEEK 2022 USA REGIONAL WORKSHOP, TITLED THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE SHARED PRIORITIES FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN ACTIVE AND HEALTHY AGING, WITH A DIFFERENT BLOG POST DEVOTED TO EACH OF THE THREE COMMON PRIORITIES THAT WERE REFINED THROUGHOUT THE IDIH PROJECT: INTEROPERABILITY BY DESIGN, DATA GOVERNANCE, AND DIGITAL INCLUSION.
INTRODUCTION: THE REGIONAL WORKSHOP PANELISTS AND BACKGROUND OF THE PANEL
For the past three years, Catalyst has been involved in the IDIH Project, which has recently concluded (you can read more about the overall project findings here). IDIH (International Digital Health Cooperation for Preventive, Integrated, Independent and Inclusive Living) – funded under the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program – was aimed at fostering cooperation in the field of Digital Health for Active and Healthy Aging (AHA) between the European Union and five Strategic Partner Countries (Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, and USA), especially focusing on four key areas that embrace common priorities of all countries/regions involved: Preventive Care, Integrated Care, Inclusive Living, and Independent and Connected Living.
Following an expert-driven approach, experienced and renowned experts, executives, and advocacy groups from the six regions (Europe, China, Canada, Japan, South Korea and USA) were brought together by IDIH in a Digital Health Transformation Forum working to define more specific priorities in Digital Health and Ageing, and identifying opportunities for mutual benefit and priorities for international cooperation.
During IDIH Week 2022, Catalyst ran a Regional Workshop aiming to explore the impacts of COVID-19 on AHA.
Huge numbers of older persons transition from hospitals to the nursing home. Often, an older hospitalized patient needs skilled nursing care before they are ready to return home. In other cases, a nursing home patient who needed hospitalization is returning to the nursing home. Older patients and their families certainly hope that great communication between the hospital and nursing home would assure a seamless transition in care.
The authors conducted interviews and focus groups with 27 front line nurses in skilled nursing facilities. These nurses noted that very difficult transitions were the norm. Sadly, when asked to give the details of a good transition, none of the nurses were able to think of an example.
Most of the nurses felt that they were left clueless about what happened to the their patient in the hospital. They lacked essential details about their patient’s clinical status. The problem was not the lack of paper work that accompanied the patient. In fact, nurses often received reams of paper work, often over 80 pages. The problem is that the paper work was generally full of meaningless gibberish such as surgical flow sheets that told little about what was actually going on.
Often the transfer information had errors, conflicted with what the facility was told before the transfer, and lacked accurate information about medications.
For better or worse, Twitter can change the world. I got a whiff of that potential last spring,while participating in a regular Twitter chat (#eldercarechat), someone raised (Tweeted?) the question of what we want government to do to improve thelives of the nation’s 60 million caregivers, and added that weneeded something like a PeaceCorps for family caregivers. That idea resonated with me—and with what I myself need at thisjuncture in my life. My young adult children, five between the ages of 19 and 23, struggle to find work—regular work, much less meaningful work—so that they can pay their bills, including college tuition and loans.
My 92-year old grandmother has moved to Alaska to be with my aunt, and spends many of her days alone, her mind still longing for human connections, her body unable to gether there. What if we could buildsomething akin to the Peace Corps,a national program that could simultaneously address a spectrum of issues, such as workforce development, economic security, intergenerational respect, skillbuilding, and national service?
What if a program existed that could, for instance, employ my 20-something kids, rely on the skills and experience of retirees, like my own 69-year-old parents,and provide companionship to mygrandmother?What if we had a CaregiverCorps? I tweeted. Within a day, I had launched a petition to the White House calling for Americato create such a Corps. Within a month, the New Old Age blog of The New York Times had featured the idea.
Even now, late summer, the idea continues to be discussed: mentioned in the Times, and talked about online. Moving from something as ephemeral as a Tweet to somethingas enduring as a national program, of course, will take more than a season. To that end, I have spent subsequent months writing about the idea for various online platforms, and networking with individuals and organizations who are intrigued by the possibility. Anne Montgomery, my colleague at the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness at Altarum Institute and a veteran Hill staffer, has done the same.