Ontario Improving Care For Long-Term Care Home Residents



    McGuinty Government Releases Draft Regulations For Public Comment

    TORONTO, May 5 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario is improving and strengthening care for residents in long-term
care homes.
    The Ontario government is releasing the first set of proposed draft
regulations under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, for a 30-day public
consultation. These draft regulations would:

    
    -   Improve waiting list management and enhance the eligibility criteria
        for admissions to long-term care homes
    -   Strengthen requirements for prevention, early identification and
        treatment of potential areas of high risk such as skin and wound
        care, continence care, fall prevention, pain management, and
        responsive behaviours (i.e. this means each resident who is
        incontinent would have an individualized bowel and bladder plan based
        on an assessment that identified the contributing factors and any
        specific interventions)
    -   Introduce clear definitions of abuse and neglect and strengthen
        accountability for investigating and addressing all alleged,
        suspected or witnessed incidents of abuse or neglect of residents.
    -   Increase requirements to minimize restraining of residents, ensure
        that measures are in place for the comfort and safety of residents
        who are restrained by a physical device and prohibit certain devices
        from being used to restrain residents.
    -   Require an infection prevention and control program that focuses on
        monitoring, outbreak management, training and hand hygiene.
    

    The proposed draft regulations are being posted in English and French on
the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care's website at:
http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=7441620308f0a82.
    All interested individuals and groups are invited to comment on the
regulations by June 5, 2009.

    QUOTES

    "Our government wants residents of long-term care homes to receive the
highest standard of care. These regulations would ensure residents are treated
with dignity and respect, receive timely care, and live in safety and
comfort."
    - David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   The Long-Term Care Homes Act would provide the legislative authority
        for care, treatment and well-being of more than 75,000 residents in
        long-term care homes. The act is not yet in force.
    -   A second set of draft regulations under the act will be posted for
        public consultation at a later date.
    -   The ministry is also making major enhancements to its Long-Term Care
        Homes' Compliance Management Program. For more information, please
        visit www.health.gov.on.ca

    LEARN MORE

    Read the proposed initial draft regulations in English
(http://health.gov.on.ca/english/public/legislation/ltc_homes/ltc_homes.html)
and in French (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=da448ab259d3174).

    Read more about long-term care homes
(http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/ltc/15_facilities.html) in
the province.

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                                                      ontario.ca/health-news
                                                      Disponible en français



    BACKGROUNDER
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             IMPROVING CARE FOR RESIDENTS IN LONG-TERM CARE HOMES
    

    The Ontario government is committed to reforming long-term care in the
province. The Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA), which received Royal
Assent on June 4, 2007, is the cornerstone of the government's strategy to
improve and strengthen care for residents in long-term care (LTC) homes. The
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently posting on its website the
first set of proposed draft regulations for a 30-day public consultation. This
set addresses:

    
    PLANS OF CARE

    -   New requirements including enhanced timelines for initial and
        follow-up assessment which would ensure residents receive
        appropriate, personalized and timely care and services.
    -   Streamlined and modified requirements for assessments and care to
        align with Resident Assessment Instrument-Minimum Data Set 2.0 (an
        internationally recognized assessment instrument) including medical,
        nursing, personal support, nutritional, dietary, recreational,
        social, restorative, religious and spiritual care.

    ADMISSION OF RESIDENTS

    -   Enhanced eligibility criteria that align the principles of "fair and
        equitable access" and "assessed needs" so that LTC home admission
        targets people with higher care needs.
    -   Improved waiting list management.
    -   Informing applicants of all essential information prior to making an
        admission decision.

    KEY HIGH RISK AREAS OF RESIDENTS CARE

    -   Strengthened requirements for interdisciplinary programs in skin and
        wound care, continence care and bowel management, falls prevention
        and management, pain management and strategies to meet the needs of
        persons with responsive behaviours. These interdisciplinary programs
        would include assessment and reassessment, strategies to mitigate
        risks, screening protocols, treatments and interventions, supplies,
        devices and equipment and an annual evaluation of the program to
        ensure resident needs are being met. For example, this means each
        resident would have an individualized bowel and bladder plan
        implemented, based on an assessment that identified the causal
        factors and any specific interventions.
    -   These strengthened requirements would promote residents' well-being
        and quality of life through early identification of potential areas
        of high risk with an emphasis on prevention and early treatment.

    PREVENTION OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT

    -   New approach to promoting zero tolerance of abuse and neglect which
        would safeguard residents' fundamental rights and protect residents.
    -   Clear definitions of physical, sexual, emotional, verbal and
        financial abuse and neglect which would ensure consistency across
        homes, protect residents and support mandatory reporting
        requirements.
    -   Strengthened LTC home licensee's accountability for investigating and
        addressing all alleged, suspected or witnessed incidents of abuse or
        neglect of residents. This includes reporting and evaluating
        incidents to ensure vulnerable residents' rights and safety are
        protected and supported in all cases.

    MINIMIZING RESTRAINTS OF RESIDENTS

    -   Increased requirements to minimize restraining to protect the safety,
        dignity and comfort of residents.
    -   More detailed and clearer requirements for restraining, including
        assessment and reassessment, monitoring, releasing the restraint and
        repositioning residents who are restrained by a physical device to
        ensure comfort and safety, as well as prohibiting the use of certain
        devices to protect residents from harm.

    INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL PROGRAM

    -   Requirements for a risk-focused and evidence-based program that seeks
        reduced resident transfers to hospital, reduced staff absenteeism,
        fewer resident deaths from communicable diseases, and fewer days
        homes are closed to admissions and visitors due to outbreaks.
    -   Emphasis on an interdisciplinary team approach with a designated
        staff member coordinating the program that includes monitoring,
        outbreak management, training and hand hygiene requirements.

    All interested individuals and groups are invited to comment on the draft
regulations by June 5, 2009. They can send their comments to
LTCHAProject@ontario.ca or to:

    Ms. Colleen Sonnenberg
    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
    LTCHA Regulation Project
    9th Floor, 56 Wellesley St. West
    Toronto, ON, M7A 2J9
    

    The development of these regulations is being guided by the need to
improve the care provided to residents and the need for clear and enforceable
standards that can be consistently applied. The draft regulations have been
informed by ongoing discussions with residents, families, frontline staff,
stakeholders and experts since March 2008 and also reflect the recommendations
contained in Shirley Sharkey's report, People Caring for People, which can
viewed at:
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/ministry_reports/staff_car
e_standards/staff_care_standards.html.

    Work is underway to develop draft regulations for the rest of the LTCHA.
The second set of proposed draft regulations will also be posted for public
consultation at a later date. The LTCHA cannot be proclaimed into force until
all the regulations necessary to carry out the Act are approved.
    Once proclaimed into force, the LTCHA would be the legislative authority
for safeguarding resident rights, improving the quality of care and improving
the accountability framework of LTC homes for the care, treatment and
well-being of more than 75,000 residents.

    
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                                                      ontario.ca/health-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office, (416) 326-3986;
Andrew Morrison, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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