Draft national standard for long-term care homes released

A new draft national standard for long-term care that provides guidance on safe operating practices and infection prevention and control has been released for public review.

The draft standard also covers topics such as organizational commitments, design, systems including HVAC, training, and technology.

AGE-WELL Scientific Director and CEO Dr. Alex Mihailidis led the development work for the CSA Group of the new draft standard.

“The core goal of long-term care should be quality of life – including safety, but in balance with other physical, social, mental, emotional and spiritual considerations,” said Dr. Mihailidis, chair of CSA Group’s technical subcommittee on long-term care.

The CSA Group has engaged widely to help ensure that the perspectives of residents, family, caregivers and professionals were incorporated into the development of the draft standard.   In January 2022, CSA Group published a final What We Heard report summarizing information gathered from stakeholders from various consultation sessions and surveys.

CSA Group is collaborating with Health Standards Ontario (HSO) which is developing a complementary national standard to ensure that long-term care residents receive the quality of care they deserve.

“The pandemic laid bare many shortcomings in long-term care, and there is a national consensus that we must do better,” said Dr. Mihailidis. “The standards are meant to ensure that residents of long-term care receive safe, reliable, and high-quality care, supported by a strong and resilient workforce, in appropriately designed settings.”

The draft National Standard of Canada for Operation and Infection Prevention and Control of Long-Term Care Homes (CSA Z8004) is available for public review until April 11, 2022.  All comments and questions received will be reviewed by the technical subcommittee.

A draft of HSO’s standard is open for public review until March 27, 2022. Dr. Samir Sinha led that standard’s development.

CSA Group and HSO will host a 1-hour joint information session on February 17, 2022 at 12pm EST. Interested Canadians are invited to register to attend the session and learn more.

CSA Group will also host three information sessions tailored to priority stakeholder groups and topics including residents, families and caregivers; frontline workers and operational staff; and equity, diversity, and inclusion. For more information about these sessions, visit CSA Communities: Long term care homes or email healthandwellbeing@csagroup.org.

Final versions of the standards will be published in fall 2022.