Over the past couple of years, Louis Brier Home and Hospital has forged a strong collaborative relationship with the University of British Columbia (UBC). In that short time, we have embarked on a number of endeavors to participate in research projects and studies focusing on aspects and the “side-effects” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UBC School of Nursing, in collaboration with Louis Brier Home and Hospital, conducted the following research study: Evaluation of rapid redesign and resource deployment in one long-term care facility in British Columbia during COVID-19 using a cross-sectional staff survey and administrative data over time.

Half of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths are linked to long-term care (LTC) settings. In British Columbia, 24 LTC settings have had COVID-19 outbreaks. In response to COVID-19, LTC settings have introduced rapid changes to resident care delivery. This study tracked the outcomes from these rapid changes and examined how these changes affected the quality and safety of care delivery, as well as staff, residents, and their families. A variety of methods were used, including statistical analyses of administrative and survey data and interviews.

Key stakeholders included leadership, staff, Family and Resident Councils of Louis Brier. Each were represented on a steering committee who were involved in all phases of the research. This project was funded through the BC Patient Support Unit Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) COVID-19 Research Response Fund.

The study was published in the Healthcare Quarterly Journal in January 2021, and can be found here.

The project brought together nearly 170 researchers and research users across 5 regional health authorities to identify best pandemic management practices and policies, and to discuss strategies for their uptake. The network represented 7 key stakeholder groups including policy and advocacy, leadership and resident and family representatives. The project outcomes include recommendations for effective pandemic management in publicly funded BC LTC sites and a research advisory group to support future research.

This project was co-led by Dr. Farinaz Havaei and David Keselman (CEO, Louis Brier Home and Hospital), and funded through the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Convening and Collaborating Award.

More information can be found here.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care (LTC) homes, and to ensure the health and safety of staff, residents and their families, the Public Health Agency of Canada introduced various measures including strict visitation and “one high risk site” policies. This project focuses on the “one high risk site” policy that prohibits LTC staff from working in more than one LTC home.

The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used to describe this policy’s implementation at each LTC partner site, including Louis Brier Home and Hospital. This included any influence on the psychological health and safety of administrators, staff, family, and LTC residents; whether sex and gender influences or context have influenced enactment; and implementation barriers and facilitators. The research will generate a roadmap to effectively implement future policies in response to COVID-19 and best practice guidelines for team-based research in LTC.

Funding for this research project was made possible through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHI) Implementation Science Teams – Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care Funding Opportunity. The research will be completed by late 2021 and key insights and results will be shared.

More information can be found here.

The PRF provides low-barrier funding of up to $1,500 funding for community groups working in partnership with UBC faculty, staff, and students. It is designed to help fill small resource gaps and acknowledge the work of community groups that partner with UBC.

The funds go to the community partners to fill a resource gap in their partnership with UBC. Possible activities might include ones that:

  • Respond to the impacts of COVID-19 within the community partnership.
  • Build or share skills through workshops, training, experiential learning, asset-based skill building.
  • Build or share knowledge through events, dialogues, engaged research, toolkits, etc.
  • Recognize or celebrate achievements through awards, debriefs, appreciation/evaluation, etc.
  • Extend or deepen engagement through community mapping, artistic or creative events, public forums, network building, etc.

Together with UBC School of Nursing faculty members, Louis Brier Home and Hospital submitted a joint request for sponsorship from the UBC Partnership Recognition Fund, and in July 2020, were awarded a sponsorship of $1,472.93 for “A partnership to engage nursing home residents and workers in care delivery redesign during COVID-19.” These funds were used to purchase iPads for resident engagement.

This is a project to pilot a resident needs assessment tool, the synergy patient characteristics tool. The tool, originally used in the US and now in use in Ontario and Saskatchewan, has never been used in the long-term care sector to assess acuity and dependency needs of residents—it’s been widely used in acute care settings.

Reliable assessment information is needed to determine resident needs more accurately and how to staff for resident population’s needs. This pilot project, funded through the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, recently resumed after a pause due to the pandemic. Dr. Havaei organized a project team of our interdisciplinary staff and family council members to adapt the tool for long-term care use. With the help of one of her graduate students, she is creating a workbook of ‘how-to’ steps to scale up this project to other long-term care sites. 

Dr. Havaei plans to apply for more competitive funding to introduce the tool to other long-term care settings in BC and in other Canadian jurisdictions.  Over time, the complexity of seniors’ care has increased significantly, and this assessment tool will help us more accurately capture the care needs of individual residents and for specific populations of residents.

Increasingly Complex and Acute Care Needs Post COVID-19: A Mixed Methods Study

An application for funding to conduct this study has been submitted to the CIHI Project Grant Program and is currently under review for approval.

The Project Grant program is designed to capture ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related fundamental or applied knowledge, health research, health care, health systems, and/or health outcomes. It supports projects or teams/programs of research proposed and conducted by individual researchers or groups of researchers in all areas of health.

A New Model of Care Delivery to Better Meet Resident Needs in Long-Term Care Post COVID-19: A Mixed-Methods Study

An application for funding to conduct this study has been submitted to the CIHR Emerging COVID-19 Research Gaps and Priorities Funding Opportunity and is currently under review for approval.

This funding opportunity is part of Government of Canada’s continued response to address the health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic has evolved, so have the research needs of decision makers. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to address the identified research gaps in Canada and provide rapid funding for projects which respond to identified gaps in COVID-19 research areas.

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