PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy characterizes 2017 as a year where the organization “saw a lot of success” in areas of quality improvement, adding these successes were recognized by the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA).
Of note, McCarthy says there was a particular focus on the Quality Matters program by OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes. Quality Matters is an initiative OMNI uses to instil the importance of quality and quality improvement throughout the organization.
The initiative is designed to “improve each resident’s individual experience in our homes and ultimately enhance their quality of life. It will also make our homes a better place to work for our staff for our families to visit,” OMNI states on its website.
McCarthy says what was most impressive in 2017 in terms of the Quality Matters program is the way homes engaged team members in the importance of quality. He adds that the continued focus on quality has led to “positive change” in quality indicators – measurements related to every aspect of care in homes – which has resulted in better outcomes.
For example, during the Quality Forum in May, Almonte Country Haven designed a version of the Amazing Race, called the Quest for Quality, which brought OMNI team members together to perform tasks focused on six different aspects of quality in long-term care: programming, activities of daily living, infection control, food services, safety and emergency preparedness.
The interactive exercise, which was hosted on the grounds of Calabogie Lodge, caught the attention of the OLTCA and was one of the factors that led to Almonte Country Haven receiving the Workplace of the Year award from the association.
“The whole focus of Almonte Country Haven and the award they won at the OLTCA was around quality and coming up with a game that demonstrates quality, and it was a fun way of learning,” McCarthy says.
“It demonstrated the thought process you go through in terms of quality and quality improvement, and it did it in a gaming format that engaged all of our managers at the forum, so it was a great success and it was great to have it recognized by the OLTCA.”
Other OMNI homes have since taken the idea Almonte created and brought the Quest for Quality to their own team members after the forum.
“And that’s the whole idea when you come up with something like that – to replicate it and take it home and use it as a way of teaching staff and engaging them in that process,” McCarthy says.
Two other OMNI homes – Streamway Villa and Maplewood – were also recognized by the OLTCA in 2017. Both homes were presented with Clinical Protocol Excellence awards from the OLTCA, which represents more than 600 long-term care homes.
The protocol, which was developed by OMNI with the help of a grant from Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. and Eli Lilly (Canada) Inc. in 2013, the home has had reduced hypoglycemic events to near nil. At Maplewood, the program has ensured that diabetes management is more individualized.
The OLTCA has also received support in the long-term care sector from the OLTCA and is being brought to other homes.
“It has achieved a lot of spread (because) the OLTCA supported it and took it on as a generic program – and we are pretty proud of how it has evolved and where it is currently,” McCarthy says.