New data let public compare long-term care homes

Jun 18, 2015

For the first time ever, Canadians now are able to directly compare the performance of individual long-term care facilities.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information released nine new indicators Wednesday that measure the performance of 57 per cent of the 2,000 or so long-term care homes in Canada, including more than 600 in Ontario and all 29 within the city of Ottawa.

“We think this a groundbreaking achievement for the country,” said Brent Diverty, CIHI’s vice-president of programs. “You really can’t go to any country and get this kind of information at a home level.”

Three long-term care homes in Ottawa scored above average on seven of the nine indicators: New Orchard Lodge, the Township of Osgoode Care Centre and Elizabeth Bruyère Residence.

Three others — Villa Marconi, St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa and Sarsfield Colonial Home — rated above average on six indicators.

Four more were above average on five indicators: Starwood, Garden Terrace, Bruyère Continuing Care’s Saint-Louis Residence and Revera’s Centre de soins de longue durée Montfort.

At the other end of the scale, four long-term care facilities scored better than average on just two of the nine indicators: Laurier Manor, Carlingview Manor, Granite Ridge and The Glebe Centre.

The indicators include such things as falls by residents, the use of restraints and antipsychotic drugs and worsening pressure ulcers and physical functioning.

CIHI has been collecting and sharing the data with the long-term care sector for a decade, but only recently felt it had enough “to start to paint a national picture,” Diverty said.

The overall results are encouraging, with most indicators improving or holding steady over the past five years.

In Ontario, the number of long-term care residents in daily physical restraints dropped to less than nine per cent in 2013 from 16 per cent in 2010 and the percentage of those reporting moderate to severe pain fell to eight per cent from 12 per cent.

Within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, which covers Ottawa and much of Eastern Ontario, long-term care homes used physical restraints on nearly 14 per cent of patients — well above the provincial average but down from almost 24 per cent five years ago.

Long-term care facilities in the LHIN also reported higher-than-average numbers of patients experiencing pain and worsening depressive mood. Their performance on the other six indicators broadly mirrored provincial averages.

The comparative ratings are primarily intended to help long-term care facilities pinpoint areas where they can improve, Diverty said. “But we also think it’s a step forward in transparency for the sector and the health system overall.”

CIHI’s interactive online tool, Your Health System, lets members of the public see how individual long-term care facilities rate against the nine indicators.

While no one should rely solely on those ratings when choosing a long-term care provider, Diverty said, “this is one piece of information that someone would want to consider.”

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