Saskatchewan first in world to test quality improvement program in long-term

SASKATOON, July 21 /CNW/ - Three Saskatchewan nursing homes will be the first long-term care facilities to test the effectiveness of an improvement program that has been shown to increase the amount of time providers spend on direct patient care in hospitals.

Moose Jaw's Providence Place, Saskatoon Convalescent Home, and St. Paul Lutheran Home in Melville have been selected as test sites for Releasing Time to Care(TM), a program originally developed in the United Kingdom for use on hospital wards. It helps nurses and other care providers change work processes so they spend less time on administrative tasks or retrieving medical supplies. Releasing Time to Care(TM) is currently being used on 36 hospital wards in Saskatchewan, as well as in many hospitals in Ontario, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.

The Health Quality Council wants to find out whether Releasing Time to Care(TM) can increase the time providers in long-term care facilities spend with clients and their families. Nine Saskatchewan nursing homes applied to be test sites. The Council is providing each of the three sites with $30,000, to help offset the costs of implementing the program; HQC will work closely with the pilot sites to adapt and test the program before offering it to other facilities. The test sites will start the program in September 2010.

Camille Poulin, Assistant Director of Care at the Saskatoon Convalescent Home will lead the pilot project in that facility. "We anticipate that Releasing Time to Care(TM) will help us identify and eliminate inefficiencies related to time, supplies, and human resources; the efficiencies gained will be used to enhance our services in ways that residents and families truly value," says Poulin.

Marlene Smadu, Chair of the Health Quality Council says her agency is leading implementation of the program in Saskatchewan as part of its work to accelerate improvement in this province's health care system. "Releasing Time to Care(TM) is proving very popular in Saskatchewan hospitals, with both providers and patients and families. We're eager to learn whether it can make things better for people living in long-term care facilities."

Releasing Time to Care(TM) was developed by the National Health Service Institute for Innovation and Improvement in England; Saskatchewan's Health Quality Council is helping bring the program to all medical and surgical wards in the province over the next few years.

The Health Quality Council is an independent agency that works closely with health regions, providers, and government to accelerate improvement in Saskatchewan's health care system. HQC is fulfilling this mission by measuring and reporting on quality, building leadership and capability for improvement, engaging providers, and informing health policy.

SOURCE Health Quality Council

For further information: For further information: Sheila Ragush, Communications Consultant, Health Quality Council, (306) 668-8810, ext. 113,; Krista Just, Assistant Director of Communications, Sunrise Health Region, (306) 786-0753,; Linda Walker, Media Communications Consultant, Saskatoon Health Region, (306) 655-3476,

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