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Evidence to Improve Care

Electronic Monitoring Systems to Assess Urinary Incontinence

Final Recommendation

  • Health Quality Ontario, under the guidance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends against publicly funding electronic monitoring systems to assess urinary incontinence

Read the Full Recommendation report

Urinary incontinence is the accidental leakage of urine. Assessing and managing incontinence is an important part of health care for people living in a long-term care home or in a geriatric inpatient setting.

Electronic monitoring systems can be used to assess urinary incontinence in real time using disposable briefs with electronic sensors. The sensors attempt to track a person’s urination patterns and urine volume so that staff can then try to select appropriate incontinence products, individualize toileting times, and adjust care routines.

Health Quality Ontario evaluated the effectiveness and cost of using an electronic monitoring system to assess urinary incontinence and the impact this may have on the management of urinary incontinence. We also interviewed people who have urinary incontinence to learn more about their experiences.

Through this evaluation, we found that the quality of the evidence to assess the system is very low.

Electronic Monitoring Systems to Assess Urinary Incontinence: A Health Technology Assessment
May 2018

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently reviewing this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review Health Quality Ontario recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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