OHQC highlights important role of Long Term Care in alleviating wait times

MARKHAM, ON, June 3 /CNW/ - The Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), the largest association representing care for more than 50,000 Ontarians, welcomes the 2010 Ontario Health Quality Council (OHQC) annual report and its timely findings on health care wait times.

"It reaffirms the potential of long term care homes as a key component in improving quality outcomes including ensuring smooth care transitions throughout the health care system," said the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) CEO Christina Bisanz.

As detailed in the report, there are roadblocks in patient flow including to long term care within the provincial health care system.

To help find ways to improve patient flow, the OLTCA led a round table discussion with stakeholders representing Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), hospitals, Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), long-term care homes and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on May 28. Discussion generated several suggestions for reducing wait times including:

    -   Integrating nurse practitioners and clinical supports to reduce
        emergency room use by long term care home residents and provide
        continuity of care;
    -   Creating specialty units and enhanced programs like convalescent care
        to provide higher levels of care in long term care homes;
    -   Early intervention with Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients to
        successfully transition those who require long term care into long
        term care; and
    -   Enabling homes to focus on prevention especially falls and wounds.

"These ideas, while effective, would require the appropriate resources including staff, funding and skills," Ms. Bisanz said. "We stand ready to work with the Ontario government - both the Ministry and the LHINs -- and key stakeholders in the system to ensure that long term care is enabled to play an effective role as a 'system solution'".

OLTCA is the only association representing the full spectrum of Ontario's charitable, not-for-profit, municipal and private operators of over two-thirds of the province's long term care homes that provide care and services to 50,000 residents and employ some 50,000 Ontarians.

OLTCA spokespersons are available to comment on the findings and recommendations of the OHQC report, and provide examples of the ways long term care homes are examining and working towards solutions in reducing wait times as part of Ontario's overall health care system.

SOURCE Ontario Long Term Care Association

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Nancy Cooper, OLTCA, Tel: (905) 470-8995 ext. 34, ncooper@oltca.com or Lucy Lai, Edelman Public Relations, Tel: (416) 979-1120 ext. No.279, Lucy.lai@edelman.com

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