Quality Improvement in Long-Term Care: Improving Resident Safety, A Global Issue

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 3:45 PM

Heather McConnell, RN, BScN, MA(Ed)
International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Toronto, ON, Canada
Irmajean Bajnok, RN, MSN, PhD
International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Programs, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Canada
Cynthia Majewski, RN
Quality Healthcare Network, Toronto, ON, Canada

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology and its application to the long-term care sector.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify successful strategies for improving resident safety and the link to local policy development and global implications.

Falls and injury from falls in long-term care settings are critical safety issues world wide within health care due to their impact on resident quality of life and health care system costs.   Up to 50% of elderly persons residing in long-term care facilities fall every year, with approximately 1.5 falls occurring per nursing home bed-years.  
In order to address this patient safety issue, a national Collaborative on prevention of falls in long-term care was launched in Canada.  This initiative is being lead by a provincial nursing association with the goal of decreasing the number of falls, and injuries from falls, in residents living in long-term care settings across the country. The intent is to learn successful strategies that will have a national and global impact in resident safety.
The initiative utilizes the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BTS) quality improvement methodology, an approach which results in rapidly implemented evidence-based change interventions through local Improvement Teams based in long-term care homes.
This presentation will provide an overview of the BTS methodology, including a focus on the evidence-based learning sessions, facilitated teleconferences, web-based communities of practice, and networking opportunities provided. The session will also highlight lessons learned through the use of this quality improvement approach in the long-term care sector, and identify successes and challenges encountered by the Improvement Teams, their global implications for resident safety, and impact on policy development.