Skip to main content

High risk of superbug infections in LTC facilities, yet Ontario MOHLTC does not track infection rate

Late last year, the Ontario Auditor General reported on health care acquired infections in long term care homes. Below are some highlights, note in particular the comments regarding cleaning.


• There is a high risk of infectious diseases [such as C. difficile, febrile respira­tory illness (FRI), methicillin-resistant Staphylo­coccus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)] spreading among residents of long-term-care homes because they often share rooms and generally eat and participate in activities together. As well, older residents are generally more vulnerable to illness.

• The Ministry of Health and LTC does not have information on the total number of cases of health care acquired infections (HAIs) in long-term-care homes. The information collected at the homes the AG visited was generally not compar­able because the homes defined and counted HAIs in different ways.

• Homes generally did not have unoccupied rooms to move infectious residents into.

• Although the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) recommends cleaning the rooms of residents who have C. difficile twice a day, none of the homes did this.

• In the 2008/09 fiscal year, 81 C. difficile outbreaks in homes were reported to the Ministry.

• Unlike hospitals, long-term-care homes are not required to report publicly on certain patient-safety indicators, such as health-care-acquired cases of C. difficile, MRSA, and VRE, as well as hand-hygiene compliance among health-care workers.

• None of the Infection Prevention and Control Professionals designated by the homes had the specific training recommended by PIDAC

The full report is available here. and the AG's media release concerning the LTC report here.  Notably the AG recommended cleaning the rooms of residents who have C. difficile twice a day.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.





Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 


No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…