Exploring factors affecting the timely transition of ventilator assisted individuals in Ontario from acute to long-term care: Perspectives of healthcare professionals Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Rationale Ventilator Assisted Individuals (VAIs) frequently remain in intensive care units (ICUs) for a prolonged period once clinically stable due to a lack of transition options. These VAIs occupy ICU beds and resources that patients with more acute needs could better utilize. Moreover, VAIs experience improved outcomes and quality of life in long-term and community-based environments. Objective To better understand the perspectives of healthcare providers (HCPs) working in an Ontario ICU regarding barriers and facilitators to referral and transition of VAIs from the ICU to a long-term setting. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with ten healthcare providers involved in VAI transitions. Main Results Perceived barriers included long wait times for long-term care settings, insufficient bed availability at discharge locations, medical complexity of patients, long waitlists, and a lack of transparency of waitlists. Facilitators included strong partnerships and trusting relationships between referring and discharge locations, a centralized referral system, and utilization of community partnerships across care sectors. Conclusions Insufficient resourcing of long-term care is a key barrier to transitioning VAIs from ICU to long-term settings; strong partnerships across care sectors are a facilitator. System-level approaches, such as a single-streamlined referral system, are needed to address key barriers to timely transition.


  • Selzler, Anne-Marie
  • Lee, Leanna
  • Brooks, Dina
  • Kohli, Raj
  • Rose, Louise
  • Goldstein, Roger

publication date

  • 2023