Major gaps exist in our understanding of transitions in care for older persons living in nursing homes. The purpose of the study was to identify key elements, from multiple stakeholder perspectives, that influence the success of transitions experienced by nursing home residents when they required transfer to a hospital emergency department. This interpretive descriptive study was conducted in two cities in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Data were collected from 71 participants via focus groups and individual interviews with nursing home residents, family members, and professional healthcare providers working in nursing homes, emergency departments, and emergency medical services. Transcripts were analyzed using constant comparison. The elements contributing to the success of transitions reflected a patient- and family-centered approach to care. Transitions were influenced by the complex interplay of multiple elements that included: knowing the resident; critical geriatric knowledge and skilled assessment; positive relationships; effective communication; and timeliness. When one or more of the elements was absent or compromised, the success of the transition was also compromised. There was consistency about the importance of all the identified elements across all stakeholder groups whether they are residents, family members, or health professionals in nursing homes, emergency departments or emergency medical services. Aspects of many of these elements are modifiable and suggest viable targets for interventions aimed at improving the success of transitions for this vulnerable population.

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Keywords Dementia care, Family caregivers, Transitions in care
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Journal Journal of Aging Studies
Robinson, C.A. (C. A.), Bottorff, J.L. (J. L.), Lilly, M, Reid, C. (C.), Abel, S. (S.), Lo, M. (M.), & Cummings, G.G. (G. G.). (2012). Stakeholder perspectives on transitions of nursing home residents to hospital emergency departments and back in two Canadian provinces. Journal of Aging Studies, 26(4), 419–427. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2012.06.001