Health Quality Ontario has just updated the information available on its website showing how well long-term care is being delivered in the province. It puts a fresh face on the largest, longest-running data collection and reporting system in Canada for quality of care information on long-term care homes.
With these homes having a resident population with increasingly complex care needs, the evidence suggests the quality of care provided to those residents is improving in many respects, but that more can be done.
There are currently about 625 homes providing care to about 78,000 residents at any given time.
Health Quality Ontario’s report Measuring Up documented the growing health complexity of these residents: 79.7% had been diagnosed with neurological disease, including 63.1% with dementia; 76.2% had heart or circulatory disease; 40.4% had a psychiatric or mood disorder; and 27.9% had diabetes.
Despite the challenges of caring for these residents, the data just published by Health Quality Ontario notes an overall improvement in several key indicators of quality care.
- the percentage of long-term care residents who were given an anti-psychotic without a diagnosis of psychosis fell from 35% in 2010/11 to 20.4% in 2016/17;
- the percentage of residents experiencing moderate or severe pain dropped from 11.9% to 5.6% over the same time period;
- the percentage of residents who were physically restrained was reduced from 16.1% to 5.1%.
However, the latest data shows there continues to be wide variation between homes in the use of antipsychotic medications, restraints, and in the incidence of falls. And the median time people waited in hospital or in the community before moving into a long-term care home increased between 2015/16 and 2016/17 from 70 to 92 days, and from 132 to 149 days, respectively.