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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recognizes CARF accreditation

Endorsement of CARF follows successful pilot evaluation

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- December 3, 2008 -- The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has recognized CARF International accreditation as a choice for long-term care homes.

CARF-accredited long-term care homes are now eligible to receive the accreditation premium that MOHLTC awards to accredited homes.

"The ministry is pleased to officially recognize CARF as an accrediting agency for long-term care homes in Ontario," said Tim Burns, director, MOHLTC Performance Improvement and Compliance Branch. "CARF has shown through an independent study that it is a solid alternative option for accreditation."

The CARF family of organizations has been accrediting in the aging services field since the mid 1980s. Standards for Person-Centred Long-Term Care Communities were introduced in 2005.

MOHLTC's recognition of CARF accreditation follows a year-and-a-half pilot evaluation project. Coordinated by the Canadian Outcomes Research Institute, the pilot project independently evaluated application of the CARF standards for Person-Centred Long-Term Care Communities in ten long-term care homes throughout Ontario.

Pilot participants highly rated the CARF standards and accreditation process in four key areas:

  • Outcomes of the accreditation process: All pilot homes were found to be in substantial conformance to the CARF standards and earned Three-Year Accreditations, the highest level available from CARF.
  • Fidelity of CARF's accreditation process: CARF was judged to be responsive to the needs and questions of the homes being surveyed.
  • Improvement for providers: CARF's involvement helped improve the performance of these homes, including measurement and communication, and the CARF survey report provided additional guidance for service improvement.
  • Attention to areas of interest to MOHLTC: The CARF standards addressed care planning and documentation, risk assessment and management, and resident rights.

Teck Pioneer Residence in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, was among the providers that participated in the pilot survey. "The CARF process was appealing because of its focus on individuals, which aligns with our home's focus," Donna Legros, administrator/director of care, said. "The CARF process includes education, support, and feedback, allowing us to grow and continuously improve the quality of our home for our residents, families, volunteers, and staff."

Cawthra Gardens Long Term Care Community in Mississauga, Ontario, also participated in the pilot project. "The accreditation process was a great teambuilding exercise," Mary Jane Glassco, administrator, said. "It was a positive process for the family members, residents, and staff. Everyone in the home was aware of the CARF survey. The process showed the community, both in and out of the home, that we are committed to continually enhancing the service and care of our residents."

Throughout the course of the pilot, CARF collaborated with the Ontario Long-Term Care Association and the Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors. CARF and MOHLTC communicated regularly throughout the pilot process. Additional professional associations and other stakeholders gave feedback in an earlier focus group and helped to identify the needs of the long-term care field, current practices, and the degree of potential acceptance of CARF's accreditation model in the province.

"The accreditation process is a dynamic collaboration between the service provider and CARF's continuous improvement process," said Brian J. Boon, Ph.D., president/CEO of CARF. "Working together, we can ensure that the quality of services is continuously being accessed and improved. The ultimate beneficiaries are the residents themselves."

CARF International has been accrediting health and human services in Canada since 1969. Responding to increasing demand for accreditation, CARF Canada was incorporated in 2002 and opened an office in Edmonton, Alberta. A CARF Canada office in Ottawa, Ontario, opened the same year to serve eastern Canada.

For information about CARF accreditation and the Person-Centred Long-Term Care Communities standards, contact Catherine Davidson, CARF Canada business development executive, at cdavidson@carf.org or (613) 726-7922.

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12/3/2008 12:05:00 AM

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