January 21, 2019

The following information contains a further update on our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) on wound prevention and management. As many of you know, the Minister’s Long-term Care Expert Advisory Panel released its report last week. We were happy to see that the report accurately captured many of the perspectives and current challenges in long term care as well as recommendations we have already implemented as part of this QIP.

Intensive monitoring. Creating standardized monitoring processes to ensure there are appropriate levels of reporting and action planning has been an important part of the work of this QIP. We continue to report daily and weekly on all wounds and share summary reports with all members of our Senior Leadership Team. Detailed site-specific reports are reviewed during weekly clinical risk meetings with an interdisciplinary team at each location. Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) indicators (a national benchmark) added to our existing measurement targets allow us to measure ourselves against national statistics.

Communication with residents and families. Clear communication and collaboration with residents and families is something we strive for every day in all of our communities. We have enhanced our communications practices related to wounds to raise awareness with residents and families about the nature and types of wounds, provide opportunities to ask questions and allow for informed decision-making in collaboration with the care team. Regular care planning meetings continue with residents and families who have stage 3 or 4 wounds.

Investing in our employees. Ongoing education and creating a support structure for our team to treat and manage wounds has been a critical aspect of this work. All front-line care employees have been assigned refreshed training on wound prevention and management. This training is assigned to all new staff and on an ongoing basis to all team members to ensure continued competency. Members of our clinical leadership team are actively participating in an internationally recognized wound care training program which began in October. Each site/region will select a wound care leader who will take additional training from Wounds Canada to be able to provide additional support and expertise on wound prevention and management at the site level.

We have also partnered with other care providers in the long term care sector to share knowledge and best practices. In September, we co-hosted a one-day education session open to anyone who wanted to learn more about wound management that attracted more than 100 participants. On December 4, 2018, we held a continuing medical education event for physicians working in long term care in order to align and provide consistency on best practices related to wound prevention and management.

Resources and technology. We believe strongly in using innovation to support quality outcomes. New Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) software is currently being deployed at all of our Nova Scotia nursing homes. This software will replace an existing EHR that has been in place for some time. The new tool has a more robust wound management module that tracks wound prevalence and status. We have also completed site assessments to identify equipment needs for wound prevention and healing and purchased additional equipment, such as offloading wedges and booties, for timely and easy access by our team members at each location.

Wound care expertise. Engaging external wound care experts to review our practices and share their knowledge with our team has supported and validated our work on this QIP. We have been fortunate to work with a wound care nursing consultant who visited each of our nursing homes in Nova Scotia to examine all stage 3 and 4 wounds and collaborate with our team on care planning. In July, we also hosted local and national experts in wound care to review our approach to this QIP, and I am happy to report that we received positive feedback from the Department of Health and Wellness wound consultants who visited our sites. We continue to support the work being done at the provincial level to provide timely access to resources to meet the needs of all residents in long term care.

We are proud of what we have accomplished and confident in the work being done in each of our communities. As you know, this QIP was launched as a result of questions raised about the quality of care provided to residents. Consistent with our organizational values of Being Accountable and Always Improving Quality, we set out to ask questions, review practices and seek opportunities to improve. Our Great People responded with enthusiasm and I am pleased to say that this QIP continues to help us enhance our practices and our strong, collaborative relationships with residents and families focused on achieving the very best health outcomes. Contact us with any questions or concerns at askus@shannex.comor 1-877-742-6639.

 

Jason Shannon

President & COO

Shannex

 

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