Our commitment to continuous quality improvement is absolute and unconditional.
Quality means different things to different people. To some, it means the ability to get up when they choose, engage in meaningful activities or strengthen personal connections. To others, it is a guarantee that they will receive prompt courteous personal care, and remain safe while in our care. For others, it is all about the food. We recognize the broad range of definitions of quality, and at Extendicare, we focus on quality of care, quality of life and safety.
To demonstrate our continuous improvement in these areas, our performance is constantly reviewed and assessed internally within the context of established quality indicators covering nursing and personal care, food quality, housekeeping and laundry, admission and discharge procedures, and other aspects of care important to residents and families.
For an overview of our quality performance read our latest Quality Report. To find out more about quality initiatives of homes in your area, click here. For up-to-date data on quality indicators, contact the Director of Care or Administrator directly.
Providing Quality Care
Our National Quality Framework
The Extendicare National Quality Framework is a documented set of protocols, best practices and proven methodologies designed to promote the highest possible quality of care by standardizing care delivery while personalizing the care experience
It serves to focus our thinking and actions towards delivering quality care consistently and effectively. It also forms the basis by which we evaluate our performance and identify ways we can continuously improve on our results.
All Extendicare owned and managed long-term care homes are fully accredited by a recognized independent, third party accreditation body, either Accreditation Canada or Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF Canada). In addition, a number of Extendicare employees are approved surveyors and often participate in accreditation reviews of other homes.
Using software and modern technology, we are able to track the clinical status of our residents in real time. Our systems allow us to monitor the key risk areas in our homes and compare ourselves with other locations or against established benchmarks to identify where we need to focus our improvements. We concentrate on clinical areas that have the most impact on residents’ lives such as pain management, falls prevention, restraint reduction, skin health, continence care, restorative care and appropriate medications.
We have a team of experts including nurses, dietitians, social workers, infection control and environmental health specialists, fire safety experts and others that support our homes on a daily basis and help to identify and implement best practices. This team is always available to our homes to help find solutions to challenging issues and to find ways to continuously improve our delivery of care.
Our clinical experts are also responsible for developing company-wide policies and programs to ensure that our homes are implementing best practices in care. We review our policies on an ongoing basis to ensure that they are practical, up to date, incorporate feedback from residents, families and staff, and reflect the latest research and regulatory requirements. Some of the evidence-based programs we have in our homes include:
- Continence Care
- Dementia Care
- Falls Prevention
- Pain Management
- Palliative Care
- Restorative Care
- Skin and Wound Care
As an organization and as individual employees, we know that influenza poses a unique and serious risk to the health of our residents. As such, we are extremely proud of our high staff immunization rates – over 89% last year. That’s significantly higher than the 40% – 60% immunization rates in other Canadian health care organizations.
Infection Control Program
As one of the few providers of long-term care in Canada with a full-time team of Infection Control Clinicians on staff, our commitment to infection prevention is clear. Their efforts in instituting best practices, conducting audits and training staff have yielded significant results in making infections less prevalent in our homes.
Extendicare is proud to be a leader in fire safety in Canada. All Extendicare owned homes have complete automatic sprinkler system protection, even though there is no regulatory requirement to do so. In addition, all Extendicare owned homes are fitted with carbon monoxide detectors, conduct regular fire drills to ensure staff members know their responsibilities in the event of a fire emergency, and all homes are inspected by our own internal fire safety team on a regular basis.
Promoting Quality of Life
All our efforts would be for naught, if our residents didn’t feel or see a difference. That’s why, each year we conduct resident and family satisfaction surveys in all our homes. We ask 28 questions covering seven key areas and use the information to assess our performance and identify opportunities for improvement.In our most recent survey, 82% of respondents indicated they would definitely recommend our homes to another person.
We have always known that we have caring, competent staff members at Extendicare and the results of our 2014 satisfaction survey are a reflection of this. Courtesy, consideration of privacy and respect for dignity, and quality of nursing care received the highest ratings with six out of seven respondents indicating they were satisfied or very satisfied.
Resident Centered Programming
We promote a good quality of life for our residents by ensuring every day is filled with social and recreational activities and therapeutic programs that bring our residents together and bring the best out of each one of them.
Our homes follow a primary care model which means residents have a consistent team caring for them that understand their individual needs and personal preferences. All staff receive specialized training on how to care for residents with advanced dementia, responsive behaviours, multiple chronic diseases or at end of life. Many homes have certified in house coaches on the Gentle Persuasive Approach to Care which promotes a resident centered care philosophy for addressing the needs of those with dementia.
Music and Memory
Music has been shown to enhance the mood of many residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia and can even decrease frustration in residents. Research has also shown that there is a connection between familiar music and long term memory, which can bring back emotions felt years prior.
Extendicare homes use Music & Memory, an innovative program that allows staff at the home to create personalized music playlists for each resident. One of the program’s many benefits is that it allows residents to engage with others in the home, including neighbours, staff and visitors and truly improve relationships. For an uplifting view of the program’s impact, visit musicandmemory.org.