Nursing home inspections going online

Teresa Wright
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Independent MLA raises concerns she received about incidents at facilities

Operational and Care Service Standards for P.E.I. Nursing Homes

Health Minister Doug Currie says he will post inspection reports from nursing homes online after Independent MLA Olive Crane raised concern about a lack of transparency after she received concerns over incidents at the facilities.

Crane said a number of Islanders have come to her, asking what recourse they have to investigate if they feel their loved one is not receiving appropriate care at a nursing home.

That’s why she asked Currie to place inspection reports online, as is done for restaurant inspection reports.

“It would force private-sector facilities to take all issues seriously and to improve them in a very quick time period,” she said.

“For example, if someone requires care to go to the bathroom and they may be left for three or four hours at a time, that’s not appropriate. But if an inspector goes in and does a random review and finds people are not getting the support they need, if it’s a staffing issue because you don’t have enough staff on, I guarantee that will be corrected.”

Crane said the reports would also be helpful for Islanders looking at whether a facility meets the needs of their aging family member before placing them at the home.

“People want to make choices, and how do they know where their (family member) is going to go to, if that’s a good facility or not.”

Currie acknowledged Thursday there has been a backlog of inspections of private nursing home facilities.

He said this is because it is taking longer for the inspections to be completed, as an increasing number of residents develop more chronic health problems and complex conditions such as dementia.

The five provincial inspectors, who are nurses, do not simply go into these facilities with a clipboard and a checklist, Currie said.

“Not only do they inspect and look at the facility and make sure it's meeting the standards, but they provide feedback on a variety of different things ... suggestions and advice on how they can continue to provide good care.”

To deal with the backlog, Health P.E.I. recently brought on two more nurse inspectors for short-term contracts to get things caught up.

But in the long term, Currie agreed with Crane that more transparency is needed regarding how these facilities are caring for their clients.

“There’s public money that goes into these facilities to support them, so it only makes sense that there’s a level of accountability, through the inspectors, and that there’s a transparent process,” Currie said.

He pledged the reports will go online, but officials must first do an evaluation about the technical and administrative work that must be done to make it happen.

“I think that it’s very appropriate the we have the inspections online. I think the intent all along has been that we get them online,” Currie said.

As for concerns over incidents occurring within the facilities, Currie acknowledged incidents do happen from time to time at the facilities, but they are isolated.

He said he has only seen a small number of cases where a facility failed to meet the legislated procedures and protocols and was issued provisional licence.

“I’ve got great confidence in the owners and operators of the community care facilities and the private long-term care facilities,” Currie said.

“They do a very good job, but the way I look at the role of the inspector — we want to work with the facilities, we want to help provide good support, good advice because at the end of the day, the most important thing about all this is the quality of care the patient or the individual is getting in these facilities.”

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Health P.E.I.

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  • excellent
    May 03, 2014 - 08:43

    It's an excellent idea - I have heard all sorts of stories and it's hard to know who or what to believe when searching for a care home for a loved one. Thank you, Olive, you are one of the few MLAs who sees the whole picture and truly cares about the island and its people.

  • Heather
    May 02, 2014 - 19:04

    I do not have any faith in community care facilities after seeing what went on in the one my Mom was in! She became very sick and died within 12 hours! They neglected to provide any follow up care when she became ill through the night with vomiting and she aspirated .I believe that she died before her time because they did not she the urgency in the fact she was on oxygen and was more prone to aspiration.There were unlicensed people working there and no RN on duty except in the AM to dish out the medications for the entire staff to distribute! I myself have been hired right of the street to give out medication,change colostomy bags,inject insulin, use feeding tubes and the list goes on! I refused to do a lot of it and was let go! Something has to be done our elders are dying too soon and unnecessarily!These people are our parents and family loved ones. I also lost my father at a different facility because they gave him morphine because he woke up agitated and I believe it caused his heart to stop. My father had no pain or real physical issues! We need to stand up for our seniors and all hospitalized people in care facilities.The system is broken just like t is for Mental Health and Addictions.My parents were not taken care of and they died!

  • Gerr MacDonald
    May 02, 2014 - 14:09

    I think posting those inspections online is a great idea!