CFHI Welcomes CIHI Indicators For Long-Term Care Sector

Teams Across Canada Using Data to Improve Resident Care

Ottawa, Canada – June 10, 2015: The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) applauds the release by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) of performance indicators for the long term care (LTC) sector at the facility level. CFHI is leading a pan-Canadian collaborative that is using data to improve the care of residents in long term care facilities.

Today, CIHI publicly released nine indicators of safety, quality of life and the general health of people residing in long term care facilities across Canada. These indicators are available on CIHI’s interactive web site called “Your Health System: In Depth.” The release of this data for the first time enables Canadians to see where things are going well and where there is room for improvement in the long term care sector. Comparative performance information such as this allows facilities to learn from one another and share best practices.

Building on the success of the previous CFHI-supported initiative with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, CFHI is bringing together 15 organizations spanning more than 50 long term care facilities across Canada to take a close look at their data, identify gaps in the quality of resident care and implement more appropriate use of antipsychotic medications. The long term care homes involved in CFHI’s collaborative are sharing best practices and using several CIHI indicators such as “Potentially Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics in Long-Term Care” and “Falls In The Last 30 Days” to track improvements. All of the interprofessional teams have made progress in reducing the use of antipsychotics, and have seen improvements in residents’ health and experience of care.


  • One in three long term care (LTC) residents in Canada is on antipsychotic medication without a diagnosis of psychosis from a doctor.
  • Research has shown that antipsychotic medications are minimally effective in managing behavioural issues and have risks associated with them, especially for seniors.
  • Through CFHI’s Reducing Antipsychotic Medication Use in Long Term Care collaborative, 30 percent of targeted residents have had their antipsychotics discontinued or their use has been lowered.
  • Long term care facilities participating in the CFHI led collaborative have adopted a number of innovations to lower the use of antipsychotic medications among residents, including: Better use of data for decision making by clinicians and managers; recreation activities tailored to the resident; and providing staff with better training to support residents with dementia.
  • The antipsychotic collaborative grew from earlier work between CFHI and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to help interprofessional teams of healthcare providers identify patients who may benefit from non-drug therapies to treat behavioural issues associated with dementia.
  • The first Winnipeg region home to work with CFHI to reduce potentially inappropriate antipsychotic use, Middlechurch Home, saw its rate of use drop from 43 percent in 2010-11 to 28 percent in 2013-14.
  • New accreditation standards that will mandate long term care facilities to assess the appropriateness of antipsychotic medication, and use this information to improve services, take effect across Canada in 2015.


“Comparative performance information allows organizations to benchmark themselves against one another and measure the progress being made in a particular healthcare sector. CFHI-supported organizations are using this data to improve care for their residents and the stories of people ‘waking up’ are truly amazing.”
Maureen O’Neil, O.C. President of CFHI

“We have worked collaboratively with organizations across Canada to set data standards, collect their health data and analyze it, so that each facility, region and province can learn from one another to improve the quality of care being delivered to residents.”
David O’Toole, CIHI President and Chief Executive Officer

"Since beginning the antipsychotic project last September, we have succeeded in bringing our rates down dramatically. We started at 28% of our residents on antipsychotics without a psychotic diagnosis and we are now down to 16%.This has resulted in us witnessing some amazing stories of residents ‘waking up.’ Several residents went from being sedated throughout much of the day to being able to engage more in their own lives. It is very rewarding for staff and family to see this happen."
Sharon Jackson, Registered Nurse, Trinity Village Care Centre; Kitchener, Ontario

“I’ve noticed a significant difference in my dad. Before he was basically in a comatose state while on antipsychotic medication. I thought that my father was over medicated so that he was easier to manage. But now he’s much more alert and interactive. His cognitive function and recognition are much better since being weaned off antipsychotics.”
Mike Giovinazzo, whose 77 year old father Vincent was transferred to Trinity Village Care Centre in autumn 2014 from another long-term care facility and has since had his antipsychotic medication dramatically reduced

“The reduction in the use of antipsychotic medications has been a positive experience at Camp Hill, for veterans, families and staff. We have not seen an increase in aggressive or abusive behaviour or code white calls. Staff continue to grow in confidence and skills in working with people who are experiencing responsive behaviours.”
Elsie Rolls, Director, Veterans' Services, Nova Scotia Health Authority; Halifax, N.S.

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating healthcare improvement by working with provinces, territories and other healthcare partners to promote efficient healthcare that delivers better outcomes. CFHI supports the development of innovations that could save provincial-territorial healthcare budgets over $1 billion per year. CFHI is funded through an agreement with the Government of Canada.

For more information, or media inquiries in English and French, please contact:

Laura Jakobschuk
Communications and Stakeholder Relations Coordinator
Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
Phone: 613-728-2238, ext. 232