Cypress Health Region making changes to visiting hours policy

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg

Cypress Health Region making changes to visiting hours policy

The Cypress Health Region has approved changes to the current visiting hours policy to accommodate the needs of people to be with a family member in hospital or long-term care.

Cypress Health CEO Beth Vachon provided details about the new approach at the Cypress Regional Health Authority meeting on Jan. 13.
“We really want to change the believe that families are just visitors,” she said. “They’re not. They need to be part of the care team and be involved and it’s not just family. It’s of course whoever that patient defines as their significant support system, whether that’s friends or family.”
The health region’s formal visiting hour policy will be replaced with the new approach that is referred to as the open family presence policy.
“In practice we haven’t been really strict about visiting hours, but in policy it’s still stated that visiting hours are from here to here,” she said. “We want to encourage families so that they know they are welcome all the time.”
The policy will be rolled out in facilities during the next two months and will be implemented by March 31. This policy change in the Cypress Health Region is part of a province-wide initiative that will be implemented in all health regions.
“When the decision was made as a province that we would go forward with this, there was absolutely no question and no debate that this needed to happen,” she said. “It’s really just the next step in the whole patient-family centred care that is integral and core to every health region in the province.”
The new approach will give formal recognition to the role that family members play to support a person that receives care in hospital or long-term care.
“What we know is that families play a significant role in people getting better and often times they provide a lot of care while they have a family member in a hospital or a long-term care facility,” she said. “They’re often the ones who are assisting with getting water, helping to make sure people are eating properly, keeping them company, getting things that they need, even talking to the nurses and doctors about what they’re observing, which goes a long way in providing information.”
Implementation of electronic charting system:
The Cypress Health Region is implementing PointClickCare, an electronic charting system, at long-term care facilities.
“This is specifically designed for long-term care,” Vachon said. “It ties in with some of the other data sets that we keep. … It makes it easy to create those flags within a person’s chart on things that need to happen on a monthly basis or a weekly basis or if lab tests have gone in, flagging that they should be back by now. It’s a good tracking system.”
The initial trial period of the system took place at the Palliser Regional Care Centre, where it has now been fully implemented.
“The staff are finding that it’s a very user friendly system that helps them make sure the chart is where it needs to be,” she said.
The implementation of the new charting system will now take place at other long-term care facilities in the health region. It has already been launched at the Wolf Willow Health Centre in Eastend while the Prairie Pioneers Lodge and Swift Current Care Centre are adding all their data to the system to start implementation in February.
There will be some delay with the implementation of the system in some long-term care facilities due to the need to upgrade the technology systems in the different buildings to accommodate wireless technology. The system consists of a mobile workstation on a cart that makes it easy to record a person’s data without the need to walk to a nurses station.
“It’s a very user-friendly,” she said. “You point, you click, your information is recorded and it becomes part of the record.”
The implementation of the PointClickCare system became necessary after the Wolf Willow Health Centre’s previous electronic charging system became out of date.
“They were our only long-term care facility that had an electronic system and the system became obsolete,” she said. “So we knew at that point we didn’t want them going back to a paper based system and that we needed to bring all of our facilities on. So that’s really what prompted us is when the Eastend system started to fail that we wanted to look at what the option would be for the entire region.”

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post

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