Findings will be used to inform the CSA Group national standard for long-term care
By Pippa Wysong
The new Standard, CSA Z8004, , incorporates feedback from targeted consultation sessions and the CSA Group public review process which concluded in April 2022.
The Standard is meant to help ensure that LTC home residents receive safe, reliable, and high-quality care, supported by a strong and resilient workforce, in appropriately designed settings.
The final report summarizes input from several engagements with stakeholders, including both consultation sessions and surveys. CSA Group and collaborating organizations hosted six national consultation sessions, which included a total of 227 participants. In addition, CSA Group received over 770 responses to three surveys which were targeted to residents of LTC homes (LTCH), families and caregivers, management, and operational staff. A survey on equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) was also conducted. Feedback for this came from a wide cross-section of participants which included frontline workers, Indigenous people, older adults, the 2S community, and operational staff.
The Final What We Heard report identifies three key principles that informed all aspects of operations, infection prevention and control (IPAC) policies and procedures, as well as the design of LTCHs. Those three principles are: people-centred care (PCC); EDI; and gender and sexual inclusivity. The principles were largely identified as a result of experiences from the pandemic which brought various issues to light that have been standing issues for some time.
In addition, the report states, “Participants identified challenges that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic related to IPAC, resident well-being, and LTCH design and operation, as well as best practices and solutions to addressing these challenges. Many participants said that LTCHs were left to respond independently to pandemic challenges. A variety of issues were raised that need to be addressed, ranging from constantly changing policies and procedures, a lack of coordination, alack of communication (at various levels and in different situations), language barriers, and more.
In general, participants noted that IPAC should focus on the most effective measures to protect residents and staff, while incorporating approaches that avoid negatively impacting residents’ quality of life. As well, it was felt that more IPAC training and education was needed and that training should be provided to all staff working in LTCHs, as well as residents, families, essential family caregivers, and visitors. Many also commented that updates to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and maintenance were needed.
When it came to the design of LTCHs, stated that LTCHs are residents’ homes and should be comfortable, safe, inclusive, and culturally appropriate in terms of design. A total of 81% of survey participants indicated that the ability of a resident to personalize their room was an important design consideration that significantly impacts residents’ well-being. Similarly, 88% of participants identified the number of residents per bedroom as an important design consideration that can contribute to residents’ physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual health.
When it came to EDI, many felt LTC policies and procedures need to reflect an inclusive approach. For example, having washrooms that are gender-neutral and a need to use more gender-neutral language.
Of survey participants, 95% supported including training for staff on topics such as anti-racism, indigenous cultural safety training, gender and sexual identity, and related areas. In addition, 86% supported access to traditional and/or culturally appropriate food and cultural activities.
The final CSA Z8004 Standard is expected to be published in December 2022 in both official languages. CSA Group will promote the new Standard and hold a variety of information sessions for targeted audiences.
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