An innovative program in ethics education exists at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. This program can serve as a helpful model for long-term care and geriatric care facilities seeking to implement formal training programs in bioethics. Various aspects of the ethics education program are examined. In addition to describing the role of the ethics committee and research ethics board, consideration is given to case consultations, ethics rounds, the training of junior physicians and medical students, grand rounds and the planning of conferences and guest lectures. With regard to educational content in bioethics, health law, professional guidelines and the principlist approach of Beauchamp and Childress are used to explore the ethical dimensions of particular cases. Given the clinical context of the educational initiatives, the pedagogical approach is predominately case-based. While the bioethics literature emphasizes the patient-physician relationship, ethics education at Baycrest recognizes the importance of multiple professions. Physicians, nurses, social workers, speech pathologists, nutritionists and other health care providers are involved in ethical deliberation and education.
Nurses working in the long-term care (LTC) sector face unique workplace stresses, demands and circumstances. Designing approaches to leadership training and other supportive human-resource strategies that reflect the demands of the LTC setting fosters a positive work life for nurses by providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead the care team and to address resident and family issues. Through the St. Joseph's Health Centre Guelph demonstration site project, funded by the Nursing Secretariat of Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Excelling as a Nurse Leader in Long Term Care training program and the Mentor Team program were developed to address these needs. Evaluation results show that not only have individual nurses benefitted from taking part in these programs, but also that the positive effects were felt in other parts of the LTC home (as reported by Directors of Care). By creating a generally healthier work environment, it is anticipated that these programs will also have a positive effect on recruitment and retention.
Evidence informed decision making in health policy development and clinical practice depends on the availability of valid and reliable data. The introduction of interRAI assessment systems in many countries has provided valuable new information that can be used to support case mix based payment systems, quality monitoring, outcome measurement and care planning. The Continuing Care Reporting System (CCRS) managed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information has served as a data repository supporting national implementation of the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI 2.0) in Canada for more than 15 years. The present paper aims to evaluate data quality for the CCRS using an approach that may be generalizable to comparable data holdings internationally.
Data from the RAI 2.0 implementation in Complex Continuing Care (CCC) hospitals/units and Long Term Care (LTC) homes in Ontario were analyzed using various statistical techniques that provide evidence for trends in validity, reliability, and population attributes. Time series comparisons included evaluations of scale reliability, patterns of associations between items and scales that provide evidence about convergent validity, and measures of changes in population characteristics over time.
Data quality with respect to reliability, validity, completeness and freedom from logical coding errors was consistently high for the CCRS in both CCC and LTC settings. The addition of logic checks further improved data quality in both settings. The only notable change of concern was a substantial inflation in the percentage of long term care home residents qualifying for the Special Rehabilitation level of the Resource Utilization Groups (RUG-III) case mix system after the adoption of that system as part of the payment system for LTC.
The CCRS provides a robust, high quality data source that may be used to inform policy, clinical practice and service delivery in Ontario. Only one area of concern was noted, and the statistical techniques employed here may be readily used to target organizations with data quality problems in that (or any other) area. There was also evidence that data quality was good in both CCC and LTC settings from the outset of implementation, meaning data may be used from the entire time series. The methods employed here may continue to be used to monitor data quality in this province over time and they provide a benchmark for comparisons with other jurisdictions implementing the RAI 2.0 in similar populations.
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