Introduction

In 2005, the Long-Term Care Best Practice Coordinator role was introduced into the long-term care sector as a three-year pilot initiative funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Nursing Secretariat. The goal of the 'Long-Term Care Best Practices Initiative' is to support long-term care homes in adopting evidence-based practices that will support systematic and consistent approaches to providing quality care for residents. At the completion of the pilot phase in March 2008, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) assumed the management of the initiative with funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Performance Improvement and Compliance (PIC) Branch.

In 2008, a provincial survey of the long-term care (LTC) sector was undertaken by the Long-Term Care Best Practice Coordinators (LTC BPCs) to assess the current status of use of best practices in LTC, and to direct the focus of the work of the LTC Best Practice Initiative team. Based on the survey results, the following have been identified as top clinical priorities in Ontario LTC homes:

  • Client centred care
  • Continence and Constipation: assessment and management
  • Falls prevention and management
  • Pain assessment and management
  • Pressure ulcer risk prevention, assessment and management