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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SOS! A Mobile App to Improve Early Detection of Deterioration & Unnecessary Emergency Hospitalization in the Elderly

In 2013-2014, nearly 33% of frail elderly admitted to hospital from long-term care were admitted unnecessarily. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, approximately 1/3 of transfers from long-term care to hospital were for preventable conditions, costing almost $11 million dollars (2014). Many personal support workers, nurses and even general practitioners lack the specialty knowledge and experience needed to effectively manage the very complex care of the frail elderly. As a result, this vulnerable population is often unnecessarily admitted to hospitals.

To address some of these issues, Baycrest has launched an online learning tool for a Sensory Observation System (SOS) to increase accessibility, retention and application of geriatric specialty knowledge for healthcare providers caring for the frail elderly at risk of acute deterioration. 2


The Sensory Observation System (SOS) is a mobile app that was created to replace pocket cards that are used by staff to monitor a patient's condition.

“SOS was originally a set of pocket cards we created to assist frontline staff to recognize, prioritize and report meaningful information about changes in client condition,” says Jennifer Reguindin, an
interprofessional educator from Baycrest's Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation.“This tool is one part of a larger educational curriculum we developed to enhance resident care and support the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s goal to reduce emergency transfers from long-term care homes to hospitals.” 3

To download the app, click here: 


Sources of potentially avoidable emergency department visits (2014). Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Retrieved May 23, 2017 from 

SOS! A gamified app to improve early detection of acute deterioration associated with unnecessary emergency hospitalization in the frail elderly (n.d.).Baycrest. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from

Mobile app aims to expand Baycrest's educational reach. (January 29, 2014). Baycrest Matters 10 (2). Retrieved May 24, 2017 from 

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