About the Project
When Dr. Margaret Manville became Medical Director of Long-Term Care (LTC) with Island Health, she relished the opportunity to review the data and identify any ongoing challenges.
One area in particular stood out to her: the rate of worsening stage-2 pressure ulcers among residents. The rate of this treatable and largely preventable complication in Island Health LTC facilities exceeded both the British Columbian and the Canadian averages. These data were particularly concerning because of the negative impact on the quality of life of residents who experience the psychological and physiological burdens of this condition.
The dedicated LTC wound nurse who provides service to the entire island was limited by her vast geographic responsibilities, and LTC residents, due to their frailty, were less able to travel to specialist clinics to receive timely care for worsening pressure ulcers. At times, the ER was the only option.
Dr. Manville saw an opportunity to promote a culture of excellence in LTC wound care: a newly opened LTC facility, The Summit, was an ideal location to pilot a new on-site approach to wound care for its 320 residents. Bringing together Dr. Todd Yip, Summit care managers Lisa Diamond and Peter Donohoe, social worker Kathleen Zimmerman, LTC occupational therapists and nurses, LTC family practitioners, LTC administrators, and a project manager, the team’s mission was to reduce the rate of pressure ulcers among LTC residents. Over the course of the past year, they have worked seamlessly and diligently to identify and treat residents in need of interdisciplinary team-based wound care with Dr. Yip when he visits The Summit each month.
The Summit LTC team has decreased the rates of worsening pressure wounds from 8.5% in summer 2021, to 3.3% a year later in 2022. This was below their original target of 3.7%, and was achieved despite the staffing shortages that affected LTC facilities along with all other areas of health care.
Dr. Yip is very grateful for the effort and hard work provided by the team to deliver the quality care that each resident deserves. In his words, it has been his pleasure and a privilege for him to be part of an incredible team.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr. Manville harkens back to the importance of reviewing the numbers: “When there isn’t a focus on the data, we can say ‘we’re too busy.’ We ignore this data at our peril. We know we were almost double the rate of pressure ulcers at The Summit when we started out, so the fact that we can show the improvements, and we’re not even a year out, that’s so important to focus on.”
The next phase of the project is harnessing the success of this model to spread to other LTC sites within the Island Health region.
Congratulations to the team at The Summit for this tremendous achievement!