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The Brenda Strafford Foundation is leading the way in providing palliative care in long term care and supportive living facilities in Alberta, thanks to the development of the End of Life Palliative Care Framework.
The Foundation is proud to have been recognized with Accreditation Canada Leading Practice status and a Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) Patient Experience award for development and adoption of our comprehensive, holistic palliative care program.
Accreditation Canada Leading Practice
The Foundation has achieved Leading Practice status from Accreditation Canada and its affiliate Health Standards Organization for our “Comprehensive Palliative Care Program - Long Term Care and Supportive Living.”
Recognized as being particularly innovative and effective in improving quality, Leading Practices highlight health care and service practices that organizations can use to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
HQCA Patient Experience
Patient Experience Awards highlight the focused and important work underway in the province to consistently consider the patient, resident, client and family voice and make a positive impact on patient experience.
For the third year, the HQCA in partnership with its Patient and Family Advisory Committee, held the awards program to recognize and celebrate initiatives that improve the patient experience in accessing and receiving healthcare services. Applications spanned all corners of the province and came from a wide variety of care settings reflecting the diverse healthcare needs of Albertans.
The Brenda Strafford Foundation is honoured to be one of four initiatives selected to receive the 2018 Patient Experience Award.
About The Foundation's Palliative Care program
Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to providing specialized medical care for people at the end of life. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress and mental stress while navigating the journey at the end of life.
Prior to developing the Foundation's Framework, The Foundation conducted a needs assessment in collaboration with University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing. During a community practicum, nursing students led focus groups with residents, families and staff to determine areas for improvement in our palliative care service.
Understanding that healthcare personnel, residents and families encompass a variety of backgrounds and experiences, a multidisciplinary working group was created to develop a fully inclusive palliative care program for The Foundation. The End of Life Palliative Care Framework incorporates five multi-dimensional domains centred around the resident and family. Staff receive education on the implementation of all layers to support the delivery of holistic, resident and family centred palliative care.
Impact of the framework includes enriched quality of care during end of life, and increased comfort and support for not only residents and families, but also for staff providing palliative care. Evaluation demonstrated positive results were achieved in improving communication, continuity of care, emotional support and symptom management. Evaluation also demonstrated a decrease in hospital transfers, minimizing the discomfort and discontinuity of care experienced by residents who are then able to pass peacefully, surrounded by people they know and trust in a familiar environment.
As a result of the improved support, notably facilitating end of life conversations and enhanced emotional support for families, the percentage of family members who participate in providing care to their loved one at end of life has increased. As Medical Director Dr. MaryJane Shankel observed, families have been empowered by taking part in the end of life care of their loved ones.
“One comment from a family member that most stands out for me was that they felt that this was the ‘single most powerful experience in life’ that they had ever experienced.”
- Dr. MaryJane Shankel
Congratulations and thank you to Dr. Shankel and the interdisciplinary Palliative Care Committee for leading the pilot initiative at Wentworth Manor.
Thank you also to the Nursing, Education, Recreation, Social Work, Nutrition, Pharmacy and Physician teams throughout The Foundation who have adopted the practice to better care for our residents who are experiencing end of life.