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) (also referred to as nursing homes) and retirement homes.

Canada has had a higher reported national proportion of COVID-19 deaths for LTC residents than any other country worldwide, with more than 80% of total COVID-19 deaths occurring in LTC homes.1,2

Working with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF), Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) we are supporting ten Implementation Science Implementation 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 (ISTs) to strengthen pandemic preparedness in long-term care (LTC).

ISTs will work in partnership with interested LTC+ program teams to  evaluate the outcomes and impacts of six identified promising practice interventions3The 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.  and policy options within and across LTC and retirement homes in Canada. This research will generate evidence on what interventions are most effective, in what settings and contexts, and why. ISTs may also support the sustainability, scale and spread of promising interventions to other homes and jurisdictions, contributing to the sectors overall pandemic preparedness.

The ISTs are being funded by CIHR, NBHRF, SHRF and MSFHR. Up to $1.48 million will support ten IST teams from across the country. Applications have now closed and successful teams will be announced in November 2020.