The public can now make a more informed choice about long-term care thanks to a new online tool launched today that compares facilities across Canada based on nine indicators such as safety, quality of life and general health of residents.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo led the development of the assessment criteria and quality measures that will allow people to compare data of more than 1,000 facilities. They are members of interRAI, a global network developing assessment and screening tools to support vulnerable populations.
'This website provides Canadians with an authoritative source of information about quality of care in nursing homes,' said professor John Hirdes, of the School of Public Health and Health Systems at Waterloo, and who developed the indicators in collaboration with researchers at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. 'It creates an opportunity for transparency and accountability in long-term care.'
The searchable database is an extension of 'Your Health System: In Depth,' an interactive website of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The launch marks the first time CIHI has made this information about nursing homes publicly available. The organization has been collecting and reporting on the information for the last 10 years.
'The results are really a starting point for conversation,' said professor Chris Perlman, also at the School of Public Health and Health Systems in Waterloo's Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. 'The indicators create an opportunity for collaboration, for administrators to talk with each other and learn from best practices.'
Your Health System first launched in 2013 in order to provide health-care professionals and the general public with information on health-care access, quality and outcomes. The site has two sections: an In-Depth section for managers to identify areas for improvement based on 45 health-system indicators from both the acute care and long-term care sectors, and an In Brief section for the public to review how their health system is performing within a city, region, province or territory. The addition of the long-term care indicators provides Canadians with an even greater perspective of how the health care system is performing.