Residents benefit from protocols

Nestled in the small rural town of Mount Forest, Saugeen Valley Nursing Centre houses 87 beds and provides 24-hour nursing care as well as short-term respite care.

The home’s management team has always welcomed opportunities to improve the quality of resident care, which is why administrator Andrea Parsons was excited at the opportunity to have Saugeen Valley join the Long-Term Care Homes Common Assessment Project (LTCH CAP) and become one of the first homes to adopt the Resident Assessment Instrument Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS 2.0).

Kim McCarthy was selected to be Saugeen Valley’s RAI Coordinator. As both an RN and RPN in long-term care for nearly 20 years, McCarthy was excited to learn how Resident Assessment Protocols (RAPs) enhance the ability of the care team to identify risks or problems earlier and to take action.

“The RAPs look at the resident from a holistic aspect. It is more thorough than any assessment that’s been used in the past, and it encourages you to look at the resident from the top of the head to the tip of the toe,” explained McCarthy.

She remembers when a new resident arrived at Saugeen Valley from a nearby hospital and was not eating or sleeping well, and exhibited unhappiness on a daily basis.

However, coding within the RAI-MDS 2.0 revealed that this resident was suffering from depression, delirium and dementia. The care team acted promptly to treat these conditions and provided the appropriate medications.

Their investigation revealed that the resident was a passionate piano player, and missed not being able to play. Management contacted the family about moving the piano into the home.

The results were dramatic with improvements to scores in the resident’s Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS) and Depression Rating Scale (DRS). Within 30 days, the resident became much more independent, and was freely socializing with her peers, something she had never done before. Her quality of life had sharply improved. McCarthy believes the RAI-MDS has benefited many other residents in the same way.

“The RAI-MDS brings issues to your attention much faster, and allows you to act earlier. In the past, the data gathering for such a resident could have taken much more time,” she said.

The RAI-MDS also prompted the care team to meet regularly and share information on specific residents.

“The RAI-MDS makes a huge impact on long-term care and the main person that benefits is the resident, which is the way it should be,” McCarthy said.

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