Above photo: Evergreen House, a 283-bed residential care facility on the North Shore, is seeing improvements in patient care thanks to the Residential Care Initiative.
Before the Residential Care Initiative (RCI) to improve seniors care in long-term care facilities was launched on the North Shore in May 2016, only four physicians were providing care at 12 long-term care sites across North and West Vancouver. These sites include Vancouver Costal Health (VCH)-owned and operated, affiliated and private facilities.
Today, thanks to the North Shore Division of Family Practice in partnership with VCH, 19 physicians are now attached to more than 80% of residents in long-term care.
“This number allows us to have an on-call group, which is not too onerous and at present is adequate for our needs," says Dr. Bryan Norton, North Shore RCI physician lead, who retires this month. “One of our challenges starting out was that four physicians were doing most of the residential care on the North Shore. Three of those have now retired and successfully placed all their residents with other physicians. About 82% of the residents now have a physician who is part of RCI."
Starting July 1, the new RCI physicians co-leads will be Dr. Sofia Bayfield and Dr. Alireza Sameny.
The General Practice Services Committee (GPSC) launched the Residential Care Initiative in 2014 to improve care for seniors living in B.C. care facilities. RCI projects are being carried out by divisions of family practice—independent non-profit organizations funded by Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health in partnership with the health authorities.
Other VCH sites participating in the initiative include Richmond and Vancouver.
To be part of the RCI project, physicians must agree to five best practice expectations:
- 24/7 availability and on-site attendance when required
- Proactive visits to residents
- Meaningful medication reviews
- Completed documentation
- Attendance at case conferences
Andrea Benoit, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Seniors and Residential, has been instrumental in ensuring the initiative is streamlined at VCH-owned and operated and affiliated facilities. She says VCH is meeting the project's targets thanks to fewer hospital transfers, meaningful medication reviews, and after hours on-call coverage.
“With RCI in place, more physicians are attending care conferences so families can have a closer relationship with the physician," explains Andrea, who is based at Evergreen House. “Communication between nurses and physicians has also improved and this has translated into physicians being more attuned to the fluctuations in the client and resident population. All of these factors not only improve patient care, but provide comfort to the families knowing their loved ones are getting the attention they need."
The 12 facilities are Amica at Edgemont, Amica at West Vancouver, Capilano Care Centre, Cedarview Lodge, Evergreen House, Hollyburn House, Inglewood Care Centre, Berkley Care Centre, Lynn Valley Care Centre, Sunrise of Lynn Valley, Maison Senior Living, and West Vancouver Care Centre.