EDMONTON, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - A background paper released today by the
Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) calls for a stronger research push to
identify the best practices to optimize the safety of residents in long-term
The paper, jointly funded by CPSI, Capital Health (Edmonton) and
CapitalCare (Edmonton), reviewed the current scientific literature on resident
safety in long-term care and surveyed long-term care stakeholders from across
the country - including frontline staff, senior management, policy makers,
researchers, and family members.
The study concludes that despite the abundance of scientific literature
examining quality and patient safety in long-term care, there are numerous
limitations with existing studies and very few have been conducted in Canada.
This has left a considerable knowledge gap regarding patient safety in
Canadian long-term care settings.
"All those we interviewed by phone or in roundtable discussion
articulated with great passion and candor what they feel are the most pressing
concerns with patient safety," says the paper's co-author Dr. Laura Wagner, a
gerontological nursing research scientist at Baycrest Geriatric Health Care
System in Toronto. "They spoke of their own experiences as nurses, managers,
policy makers, or as family members of loved ones receiving care. Collectively
they identified priority issues and strategies for improvement."
Pressure ulcers, medication issues, falls, resident aggression and
infections are common concerns in nursing home environments. However, the
study identified staffing/human resources and communication as the top two
priorities with the potential to affect safety in long-term care. With
staffing/human resources, the most frequent concerns raised were staff skills
not meeting the increasing clinical complexity of residents, and the
recruitment and retention of staff. Communication concerns related to several
areas: inter-disciplinary communication, family engagement, care planning,
transitions in care settings, change management, disclosure of
incidents/adverse events, and medication issues.
The study recommends that all long-term care facilities establish a
concerns resolution process involving management, residents and families;
education for staff on appropriate disclosure; and the establishment of
processes for communication that ensure continuity of care. Training and
leadership development for management was highlighted as a key recommendation
for the continued creation of a culture of safety in long-term care
"We now have a blueprint of informed opinion identifying what we need to
think about," says Tiana Rust, the report's co-author and doctoral candidate
in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta. "The next steps
are to build the research capacity to accurately identify the issues specific
to Canada, recommend priority actions, and collaborate with stakeholders and
decision makers to implement these consistently in long-term care settings
across the country."
The full report is available online at CPSI's website at
A summary of the report will also be published in the Patient Safety
Papers issue of Healthcare Quarterly in early 2008.
For further information:
For further information: Media Contacts: Jim Durham, Communications,
Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Tel. (780) 498-7255, Toll-Free
1-866-421-6933; Rob Stevenson, Capital Health Public Affairs, Tel. (780)
407-2602, Pager (780) 445-7307; Bernadette DeSantis, Corporate Communications,
CapitalCare, Tel. (780) 448-2425