Working Together Toward Excellence in Resident Care: Supporting Evidence Informed Practice in the Long-Term Care Sector

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

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
Josephine Santos, RN, BScN, MN
International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines Program, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), Toronto, ON, Canada

Learning Objective 1: identify the key elements of a successful best practice implementation initiative focused on enhancing quality of resident care and facilitating a culture of evidence-based practice.

Learning Objective 2: outline specific strategies that are paramount to the success of the program and the creation of evidence informed cultures in the long-term care sector.

Following a successful pilot project focusing on supporting the uptake of evidence-based practices within the long-term care (LTC) sector, a provincial government has dedicated funding for an initiative that seeks to support long-term care homes in implementing best practices and enhancing the quality of resident care.  The benefits of this initiative include improved delivery of effective care to residents; capacity building in the LTC sector; promotion of interdisciplinary knowledge transfer; utilization of evidence-based decision making in professional practice; and, improvement in work environments. 

The guiding framework for this innovative program includes strategies directed towards: raising awareness; engagement; capacity development; guideline implementation; integration and evaluation.   A team of LTC Best Practice Coordinators support the implementation efforts of LTC homes at the local and regional level, while linkages to the provincial mandate and other initiatives are coordinated centrally. This initiative has resulted in the establishment of networks for sharing successes (Communities of Practice), the building of expertise by promoting and supporting knowledge transfer, the creation and sharing of educational resources and the promotion of collaboration with other networks and quality improvement initiatives.   This presentation will share key success stories of how the LTC Best Practice Initiative is impacting on the long-term care sector as it fosters the development of evidence informed practice and resident care.