Improving Quality of Life for Residents with Dementia in Long-Term Care

March 21, 2013
12 pm to 1 pm ET


At Winnipeg Regional Health Authority a team undertook an Intervention Project aimed at encouraging the use of a computerized decision-making aid (RAI/MDS) in personal care homes specifically targeted at reducing the prescription rates of antipsychotic drugs for dementia patients. What resulted was a paradigm shift, as staff began working more collaboratively, creatively and using the data as never before. In just six months, the project showed a reduction of more than 25% in antipsychotic medication use without any increase in behavioural symptoms or any increase in the use of physical restraints within the cohort of residents that were on the drug when the project began.

Join Joe Puchniak, now Manager, Client Affairs - Alberta, CIHI, and Cynthia Sinclair, Director of Care, Fred Douglas Lodge, Winnipeg, Manitoba, to hear how WRHA leadership worked with staff and their own data set to improve quality of care for long-term care for residents with dementia and decrease the need for antipsychotic medication with their personal care homes.

Guest Speakers:

Joe Puchniak imageJoe Puchniak

Joe Puchniak has recently been appointed as the new CIHI (Canadian Institute for Health Information) Client Affairs Manager for Alberta. Prior to this, Joe was the Manager of RAI/MDS & Decision Support with the Personal Care Home Program of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. While leading the RAI/MDS system in Winnipeg, Joe was responsible for the management of both the clinical and technical aspects of the electronic health care assessment and computerized care planning system (RAI/MDS) for 39 long-term care facilities.

Joe has many years of experience in the areas of teaching, research and clinical social work practice. He gained international teaching experience when he worked for the Japanese government from 1999 - 2002 on the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) Program in Nagasaki, Japan. He has also worked as a sessional instructor for the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba and has collaborated on numerous research projects in the fields of aging and geriatrics. As well, Joe has been a home care case manager, frontline social worker in a nursing home and a geriatric mental health clinician.

Joe has completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Manitoba. He has also completed a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto. In 2012 Joe completed his EXTRA Fellowship (Executive Training for Research Application) with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and also achieved his CHE (Certified Health Executive) designation with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Joe's recent work through his EXTRA Fellowship focussed on using health data to improve the quality of care in long-term care facilities. This work received much positive attention.

Cynthia Sinclair imageCynthia Sinclair, RN

Cynthia is a registered nurse and currently completing her B.N. She has an Adult Education Certificate from the University of Manitoba and is also a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is a recent graduate of the Executive Training for Research Application Fellowship Program where her intervention project focused on using data collected with the MDS tool to improve quality care in the PCH sector and to inform decision-making and strategic planning at both the program and facility level.

Cynthia's nursing career has spanned across several sectors, from acute care, to community to long term care. Cynthia has been in a management role for the past 18+ years. After 2 years abroad as a Managing Director of a LTC facility in England, Cynthia returned to Winnipeg and joined the WRHA in 2000 as Manager of Community Nursing Services, and successfully transitioned the VON nurses to the WRHA.

After decentralization of the nursing unit, Cynthia became the Manager of Centralized Nursing Services, responsible for the Manitoba Ostomy Program, the Manitoba Home Nutrition Program and the Community IV Program. During this tenure she successfully led a re-design of the IV Program to a new service model. Cynthia is the Manager of Initiatives with the WRHA PCH Program. The PCH Program spans the entire city of Winnipeg and includes 39 personal care homes. She is responsible for Quality Improvement and Accreditation, as well as various region-wide projects. Cynthia is currently on secondment as Director of Care at Fred Douglas Lodge Personal Care Home.


Mary Bartram imageMary Bartram, Senior Policy Analyst, CFHI  

Mary has been working to advance health, mental health and addictions policy for over 15 years, both within government and in the NGO sector. Before joining the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement in 2012, Mary led the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s development of the Changing Directions, Changing Lives, the first-ever Mental Health Strategy for Canada. Over the course of her career, Mary has developed significant knowledge and experience of health system policy research and analysis, Federal/Provincial/Territorial relations, public and stakeholder engagement, and collaborative work with First, Inuit, and Métis. Mary began her career as a Family Therapist, and has an M.Sc. in Behavioral Science from Purdue University in Indiana.