April 19, 2018

New initiative at RVH helps to maintain functional abilities of patients

Renfrew Victoria Hospital was among the first wave of hospitals in the province to do some great work through the Senior Friendly Hospital ACTION (Accelerating Change Together in in Ontario) collaborative, and they continue to build on their success.

“It is important to recognize the great work being done on third floor to maintain or increase the functional abilities of our patients during their stay,” says Chris Ferguson, RVH VP of Patient Services. “It helps to ensure they will be able to function independently when they leave the hospital.”

The RVH Senior Friendly Hospital Committee identified a tool, the Barthel Index, to assess seniors’ functional status. The goal was to reach 100% compliance with administering the tool to patients on the Complex Continuing Care Unit within 48 hours of admission and discharge.

Prompts to use the Barthel Index have now been included in the hospital’s electronic medical records (EMR).

Once compliance using the tool was reached, the second stage of the initiative involved implementing the ‘Up for Meals’ program to ensure that patients get up out of bed for at least two of three meals daily.

Nursing, physical therapy and recreation staff are involved and the results, audited using the Barthel Index, show a positive impact.

Since September 2016, the beginning of Up for Meals, eligible patients are up for 2 out of 3 meals 86% of the time and 71% of patients discharged have greater than or equal functional independence compared to admission.

“As a part of this team I am very proud of our ongoing successes with this senior friendly initiative. We are also excited to showcase our next initiative, #endPJparalysis,” says Cindy Walker, Nurse Manager, Complex Continuing Care/Corporate Educator.

“Getting dressed has been shown to decrease functional decline and improve patient outcomes for a speedy recovery,” adds Walker.

RVH’s Recreation program was also involved in bringing the new initiative to the Long-Term Care committee and promoting it on the unit to patients, family and staff.

“You are what you wear. Pajamas say you’re unwell, clothes say you are getting better. Patients do much better if they get up, get dressed and get moving,” notes Roxanne Nolan, Recreation Program Director.

The committee launched the new initiative on April 17, 2018, with staff wearing pajamas to highlight the project.

#endPJparalysis ties in nicely with our Home First philosophy, states Ferguson. “Our goal is always to help patients, family and caregivers plan a safe discharge home to an appropriate environment. Our discharge planners are available to help develop a plan.”

As part of the SFH ACTION collaborative, RVH benefited from coaching support by the Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto, the leaders of the provincial senior friendly hospital initiative. RVH’s coach commended RVH for its ongoing commitment and accomplishments in taking senior friendly action.

“It’s very inspiring to see that you have not only solidly sustained your initiative, but that you have continued to work on it to the point of seeing 100% compliance, and not stopping there, but adding another great initiative (#endpjparalysis) to the mix! You folks are unstoppable. So proud of you!” stated Wendy Zeh, RN, Project & Quality Manager, Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto, in an email.

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For more information, please contact:
Chris Ferguson, VP Patient Care Services,
Renfrew Victoria Hospital
613-432-4851, ext. 225

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