WATERLOO, ON, April 2, 2019 /CNW/ - With the complexity of care needs on the rise for Ontario's 68,000 long-term care residents, the need for an innovative approach to better manage their medications has never been more crucial. That's why peopleCare Communities and its partners developed a ground-breaking clinical pharmacy model, which has won a Quality Improvement Innovation Award from the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA).
"We are thrilled to receive this recognition from the long-term care sector for our leading practice Clinical Pharmacy Model," says Megan Allen-Lamb, President of peopleCare Communities. "The Award is an outstanding validation of our commitment to collaboratively drive innovation in the health system that directly improves the safety and quality of the care we provide to our residents."
A first of its kind in the Canadian long-term care environment, peopleCare's Clinical Pharmacy Model connects pharmacists directly with residents and staff, and leverages best-in-class software and automated dispensing cabinets. Research shows having an on-call pharmacist leading the medication reconciliation process supports higher quality decision-making and often results in fewer residents taking unnecessary medications, which is safer and more cost-effective.
The tele-pharmacy component of the model ensures expert medication reconciliation is available at any time, with full remote access to the electronic health record and medication lists. More efficient, this also enhances communication among the care team, particularly during transitions, when residents are more vulnerable to medication errors.
peopleCare and its partners – including Hogan Pharmacy Partners, eHealth Ontario, the LTC eConnect program, and PointClickCare – developed and piloted the Clinical Pharmacy Model in peopleCare's long-term care homes with the help of a $500,000 grant from the Ontario Healthcare Technologies Fund – the largest ever single grant awarded by the program.
Data from the pilot phase demonstrates the model's effectiveness at improving resident safety and supporting better clinical outcomes. Medication reconciliation improved by 43%. Staff documented a dramatic 8-hour decrease in the average time to first dose for residents newly admitted or re-admitted after a hospitalization. The new approach also freed up hundreds of hours of staff time that could be redirected to resident care.
According to Jenn Killing, peopleCare's Vice President of Quality and Innovation, over the past year peopleCare has worked proactively to share this trailblazing model with government, sector partners and experts, and plans to keep engaging with interested organizations in the coming months.
"All long-term care residents in Ontario would benefit significantly from this innovative solution," says Jenn. "We strongly encourage our health sector colleagues to connect with us to learn more about how they can leverage our Clinical Pharmacy Model to provide safer, more effective care for their residents. Our process, tools and lessons learned are an open book."
The OLTCA Quality Improvement Innovation of the Year Award is presented for a change idea, research project or collaboration with health care stakeholders, having achieved a positive impact on residents, staff or the home in early results. peopleCare's Clinical Pharmacy Model "Innovation of the Year" is showcased in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of OLTCA's LONG-TERM CARE TODAY.
About peopleCare Communities peopleCare Communities is a leading operator of senior living communities in southwestern Ontario, with strong family values and a long history of service. We are committed to creating vibrant communities of care that deliver clinical best practices, engaging programs and integrated services that meet seniors' changing needs. peopleCare's innovation and industry leadership has earned Accreditation Canada – Exemplary Status, Canada's Best Managed Companies designation for the sixth straight year, North America's Most Engaged Workplaces Award, and an Innovation Award research grant from the Health Technology Fund.