Photo: The Equipment Working Group team at Minoru Residence.
In December, we launched the first edition of the new VCH-Richmond Residential Care Newsletter. The following is one of the stories from the issue, which also features content from Minoru and Richmond Lions Manor-Bridgeport, with contributions from staff, leaders, and project managers.
We live in an age where technology and equipment is always changing. In healthcare, the need to keep up with equipment changes and modifications is not only important to delivering good patient care, but help staff do their jobs safely, and more effectively.
In 2016, in response to many requests for new equipment and supplies in Richmond's Residential Care Facilities, a project was launched to investigate the current state of equipment throughout the sites and see where there might be opportunities for improvement.
“Our goals for the Equipment Inventory project was to make an assessment on the current inventory and needs of equipment for our facilities," says Willy Rasilim, Lean Advisor for the Strategy Deployment and Clinical Optimization team. “Our analysis concluded that there were many pieces of equipment that were either already past their life cycle or nearing the end of life."
Since 2016, over 1 million dollars has been invested into purchasing new equipment for Minoru and Richmond Lions Manor, as part of a five-year equipment improvement plan. Items such as slings, ceiling lifts, floor lifts, and medication carts are just some examples of the additions we've made to the sites.
“In residential care, our number one priority is ensuring our residents are receiving the care they need and that our staff can deliver this care safely—equipment is a huge part of that," says Natalie McCarthy, Director of Mental Health Substance Use and Residential Care. “By investing in equipment and resources in our facilities and by asking our staff to help us identify areas that need further improvement, we'll be able to create a better, healthier environment for everyone."
One equipment investment that has seen instant benefits both for patients and staff is the replacement of floor lifts at Richmond Lions Manor and Minoru—an important tool that assists staff in getting residents back into their bed or chair after a fall, safely.
“The lifts we used to have now been discontinued, so there was no support for maintenance and repair, which created a big risk for product failure and safety," says Willy. Thanks to the equipment project, new lifts were purchased for both sites.
All in all, five lifts at Minoru and four at Richmond Lions Manor were purchased. The new lifts are also equipped with scales, so staff are able to weigh residents while transporting them.
At Minoru, the addition of new slings and a new medication carts have also been a welcomed addition.
“Minoru always seems to be short on slings—it's an equipment request we see every year," says Nicky Dhugga, Manager Residential Care and Services at Minoru.
The slings, which are used with floor and ceiling lifts to help carry and transport residents, were in fact low in numbers. An audit was performed and determined that the site was indeed in need of many more. New slings were purchases on an on-going basis and we now have a process in place that helps us identify our demand and supply.
“Staff no longer have to spend time searching for slings that are in working order and the right size for the resident they need to transfer. Having the right equipment on hand for the job makes it much safer for our residents and our staff."
In addition to the slings, new medication carts were purchased for Minoru to replace old carts that were beginning to break down. The new carts, meet infection control standards, and much easier to manoeuver around so that residents get the medication and supplies they need.
Thanks to these equipment purchases and investments, staff at Minoru and Richmond Lions Manor are able to continue providing the best possible care.