2015 a year of driving ingenuity to enhance residents’ experience

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OMNI CEO Patrick McCarthy reflects on important shifts the organization saw last year

While 2015 was not a year of new initiatives launched by OMNI Health Care, it was a year that saw those working in the organization’s 18 long-term care homes using their ingenuity and working to enhance the resident experience, says OMNI’s president and CEO Patrick McCarthy.

McCarthy says the organization saw many shifts towards a deeper understanding of the importance of enhancing quality for residents and putting ideas into action.

Since April 1, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has required all Ontario long-term care homes to disclose many quality indicators related to resident care. Some of these indicators include falls, restraint usage, antipsychotic administration and pressure ulcers.

This increased accountability has resulted in homes taking a deeper look at quality indicators to develop a better understanding of what they mean and how to improve outcomes.

For instance, if a home had a high rate of restraint usage, team members from that home would come up with a plan to reduce the number – and then implement the plan and share the successes garnered.

“One of the great outcomes that reflected the understanding was (when) homes started telling the stories about the outcomes,” he says. “Those stories developed from an understanding of what (the indicators) meant. As a team, we looked at the indicator outcomes and, as a result, they truly understood it.”

McCarthy adds: “The actual steps that have been taken in order to improve quality are better understood and communicated, and because they are, people are engaged more. They are engaged in the process of understanding it and making that happen.”

Focusing on enhancing quality throughout the organization has also provided OMNI team members with insight into the importance of not only coming up with good ideas to bring about positive change, but also the need to engage everyone in the ideas to make them happen, McCarthy says.

“I think we have a pretty good understanding of that through some of the quality processes that we went through,” he says.

“2015 was a teaching year; it (taught) us how we do change, how we made it happen and how we made it spread, so it was a year of understanding.”

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