Implementation Science Teams – Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the health and care of older adults, with particularly devastating consequences for those residing in some long-term care (LTC)In this context long-term care also includes nursing homes, residential care facilities and personal care homes. and retirement homes. Canada has a higher reported national proportion of COVID-19 deaths for LTC residents than any other country worldwide, nearly 80 percent of early COVID-19 deaths occurring in LTC and retirement homes.1,2

Fourteen Implementation ScienceImplementation Science is defined as the scientific study of the methods and strategies used to implement evidence informed interventions into routine healthcare in clinical, organizational or policy context. One of the biggest challenges in applied health services and policy research is implementing evidence-informed interventions into policy Teams of researchers from across the country have partnered with LTC and retirement homes, including homes that are part of the LTC+ Acting on Pandemic Learning Together program, to study the effectiveness of promising practices The 6 identified promising practice interventions that have the potential to help organizations prepare for future outbreaks, or mitigate their effects are: preparation, prevention, people in the workforce, pandemic response and surge capacity, planning for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care and presence of family, interventions and policy options designed to keep residents, families, caregivers and staff safe from COVID-19.

The research will generate evidence on what interventions are most effective, in what settings and contexts, and why. The research may also support the sustainability, spread and scale of promising practices to other homes and jurisdictions, contributing to the sectors overall pandemic preparedness.

This initiative is being led by the newly amalgamated organization that brings together the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and with the following funding partners: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. The research  will be completed by late 2021 and key insights and results will be shared.

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Find out more about the research teams and their work>