Government and AHS committed to improvement in continuing care

News Release

Government and AHS committed to improvement in continuing care

The Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services have accepted all recommendations in two reports released by the Health Quality Council of Alberta on continuing care services.

The Review of Quality Assurance of Continuing Care Health Services in Albertareport requested by the Minister of Health contains nine recommendations, and the Review of Alberta Health Services Continuing Care Waitlist: First Available Appropriate Living Option Policy report requested by AHS contains four recommendations.

Report on Quality Assurance of Continuing Care:

In fall 2013, Health Minister Fred Horne commissioned the Council to do a quality assurance review of the province’s continuing care system, following several incidents occurring in various facilities across the province. The report looks at contract management and oversight for providers of home care and facility-based care for seniors.

“Albertans expect and deserve to be served by a continuing care system that adheres to the highest standards of quality.  While we remain confident Albertans receive good care in most cases, it is clear that in some cases patients, residents and their families have been let down. These reports highlight gaps in quality monitoring and reporting that need to be addressed. Albertans who depend on continuing care services can be confident action is being taken to address these recommendations.”

Health Minister Fred Horne

Key actions to address the report:

  • All provider contracts will move to a standardized Master Services Agreement which includes obligations to adhere to quality standards;
  • The Ministry of Health will be responsible for ensuring compliance with standards  and oversight in the continuing care system;
  • All continuing care operators will be required to achieve and maintain national accreditation standards; and,
  • Continuing care accreditation will be publicly reported.

Report on Continuing Care Placement Policy:

In June 2013, the former 100-kilometre placement policy was cancelled by AHS at the request of the Minister, and AHS asked the Health Quality Council of Alberta to do an independent review of the health authority’s continuing care placement policy.

“The HQCA report makes it clear that Albertans will benefit from a provincial policy that assists with the sometimes difficult transition as a resident moves from independent living to a continuing care facility. The report highlights the complexity of the care continuum and also reinforces the need to engage and consult with a broad range of stakeholders as we develop this provincial policy.”

AHS President and CEO Vickie Kaminski

Key actions to address the report:

  • New policies will be developed to ensure patients will go the closest available bed in or near their home community.  AHS will endeavour to keep couples together whenever possible.
  • Engagement with patients, residents and their families will be undertaken to ensure policies developed are fair, reasonable and take into account their opinions and perspectives.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta’s resources to ensure we’re able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

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