Patient Safety Blog

A cost-effective solution for quality management in nursing homes

Posted by Bianca Beentjes on February 16 2017
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There is a tremendous focus on quality and patient safety within hospitals. But if you look at other healthcare institutions such as nursing homes, it is a different story. Naturally nursing homes also want to deliver the very best care for their clients. But they are often more limited because of the lack of laws and funding. Even though nursing homes already made huge strides forward in patient safety, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

This blogs shows how small healthcare providers can afford a sophisticated Quality and Risk Management System and start improving their patient care today!

Quality issues within nursing homes

The laws and legislation nursing homes must comply with ensure minimum standards are being met, but do not secure continuous improvement throughout the whole organization. Furthermore, long term care is  experiencing budget cuts for a couple of years now. See for example the nursing homes in Nova Scotia (CA). They had to deal with budget cuts for 2 years in a row. In 2015 the long term care budget was reduced by $3.6 million and in 2016 by $3.4 million. 

Limited budgets result in low staffing levels. Employees are not focused on reporting incidents, because they are simply too busy with their core tasks. Only a small number of incidents are reported, or worse, incidents are not reported at all.

This means that management lacks the necessary insights to manage risks and initiate important improvement actions. Their decision making is based on incomplete data, which makes it difficult to increase patient safety and assure a high quality of care!

A proper quality and risk management system is needed to increase the incidents reported, discover trends, manage risks and monitor improvement actions. However, we often see that nursing homes do not have the necessary resources to implement and maintain such a system. For these nursing homes we created a unique opportunity! Sharing a quality and risk management platform.

Sharing a Quality & Risk Management Platform

Sharing a quality and risk management platform means getting an advanced online Quality & Risk Management System, while realizing opportunities for sharing resources and economies of scale and thus cost savings! Besides the financial benefits, sharing a platform has many more advantages, like benchmarking possibilities and sharing lessons learned.

When sharing a quality & risk management platform, it is essential to have a group of healthcare organizations that are willing to work towards the same goal: bringing quality and safety to a higher level. The strength of a shared platform is the ability to learn from each other. Organizations that are more advanced in safety and quality management can speed up the development of the organizations that are less advanced.

The platform is configured based on the shared goals of the group. The quality and safety platform exist of various solutions. First, the group needs to determine which solutions will be hosted on the platform. Each solution automates and improves a current process and streamlines the workflows. Some of our favorite solutions are Incident Management, Complaints Management and Improve 2.0 for continuous quality improvement.

The solutions are configured to the needs of the group; Online reporting forms are created, the back-office and workflows are configured and different user roles and activities are specified. Within the platform, each organization has their own space where they have access to their own data and where they can create their own reports, dashboards, etc.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of a shared platform? Read about our collaboration with The New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes (NBANH). This project included a shared platform and was unique in its kind. The launch of the project did not go unnoticed and received national media attention. We bundled some of the publications into a media report:

Download media report


Sources

Devet, R. (2016, August 15). 'We try but we struggle'. Budget cuts hit long term care facilities in Nova Scotia. Retrieved from https://nsadvocate.org/2016/08/15/we-try-but-we-struggle-budget-cuts-hit-long-term-care-facilities-in-nova-scotia/

Gorman, M. (2016, August 17). Long-term care homes feeling impact of budget cuts. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/long-term-care-health-care-1.3724344  

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