BSO an example of LHIN engagement success: McCarthy

Responsive behaviours reduced when resources applied

December 3, 2013 — Deron Hamel 

MARKHAM – OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says the province’s Behavioural Supports Ontario initiative is an example of the positive things that come from long-term care homes engaging with the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

McCarthy’s comments were made Nov. 25 in an interview during the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Fall Symposium, an annual educational event that features keynote speakers, panel discussions and networking.

BSO is a $40-million provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. Funding is provided to long-term care homes through the LHINs.

Much of the funding is put towards staff education — and by giving staff members the educational resources, they have been able to enhance quality of life for residents affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementia, McCarthy says.

“There has been a reduction in behaviours, but also a reduction in the use of medications as interventions,” McCarthy tells the OMNIway.

“We followed some residents who had PRNs (pro re nata medications — pharmaceuticals given on an as-needed basis) for antipsychotics and their use fell off dramatically because we were intervening, not with drugs, but with Montessori techniques, being a big one.”

All 17 of OMNI’s long-term care homes are involved at some level. In the Central East LHIN, Riverview Manor and Streamway Villa have been lead homes in educating other long-term care homes, both within in the LHIN and within the OMNI family.

Results from engagement with BSO have been impressive.

In its first year of involvement with BSO in 2012, Riverview Manor saw a 35.5 per cent decline in responsive agitation, while the rate of PRN medication administration dropped 34.4 per cent.

Likewise, Streamway Villa reported a large reduction in incidents of responsive behaviours, such as aggression, wandering, physical resistance and agitation, after team members began applying their BSO learnings.

From a corporate perspective, a major benefit from being involved with BSO, and thereby the LHINs, has been that best practices garnered through educational sessions have been brought into OMNI’s policies, McCarthy notes.

“We’ve been able to take their knowledge and learnings and we’ve been able to incorporate it into our Supportive Measures program,” he says.

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