CSA News

CSA Group Releases “What We Heard” Final Report to Inform Long-term Care Home Standard

TORONTO, ON, January 12, 2022 – CSA Group is pleased to release a final report summarizing information gathered from stakeholders during development of a new National Standard of Canada for Operation and Infection Prevention and Control of Long-Term Care Homes (CSA Z8004). Titled, What We Heard Final Report, the report summarizes what long-term care home (LTCH) residents, families, caregivers, frontline staff, and operators shared during six consultation sessions and three surveys.

The report identifies three guiding principles brought to light during the public consultations, which will inform all aspects of the new standard. These principles include:

  • People-centred care: The report emphasizes the importance of acknowledging that LTCHs are people’s homes and that the voices of residents, families, and caregivers should be central in every level of decision-making.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI): Brought to life most pointedly in the Indigenous consultation session, the report emphasizes the importance of EDI, establishing culturally appropriate operations, and designing culturally safe spaces.
  • Gender and sexual inclusivity: The report emphasizes the need for LTCHs to be safe for all residents, including addressing systematic gaps in care for 2SLGBTQI+ residents, the right for sexual expression, and the importance of cultural safety training.

Following the establishment of these guiding principles, the final report focuses on summarizing what was heard during consultations and surveys across all stakeholder groups and is organized into three sections: LTCH operations, infection, prevention and control (IPAC), and design. The report also includes some of the distinct topics that arose during individual consultation sessions, while identifying several common themes consistent across stakeholders. These included:

  • The importance of training and education for staff, residents, families, caregivers, and other visitors
  • The need for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that can provide proper heating, cooling, and microbial filtration
  • A desire for homes to be comfortable, safe, and inclusive in terms of design, including the importance of accessibility and dementia friendly design
  • The need to focus on the most effective IPAC measures, while taking precautions to avoid negatively impacting residents’ quality of life
  • The need for readily available and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and storage, including proper temperature regulation to protect the health and safety of staff
  • The importance of adequate internet bandwidth and Wi-Fi connectivity to allow communication with loved ones

A total of 227 people participated in the targeted consultations. In addition, CSA Group received 776 responses to three targeted surveys distributed to residents of LTCHs, their families, and caregivers; management, and operational staff of LTCHs; and a survey on EDI. In late 2021, CSA Group published What We Heard Reports for each of the six individual consultations, which contributed to the final report:

  • What We Heard Report: Consultation with Frontline Workers
  • What We Heard Report: Consultation on working with Indigenous Communities
  • What We Heard Report: Consultation with Older Adults, hosted by CanAge
  • What We Heard Report: Consultation with 2SLGBTQI+ Community
  • What We Heard Report: Consultation with Operators and Management, hosted by the Canadian Association for Long-Term Care (CALTC)
  • What We Heard Report: Consultation with Francophone Frontline Workers, hosted by Bruyère, Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation, and Carleton University

“The pandemic laid bare many shortcomings in long-term care, and there is a national consensus that we must do better,” says Alex Mihailidis, Scientific Director & CEO, AGE-WELL & Chair of CSA Group’s Technical Subcommittee on Long-Term Care Homes. “As we develop National Standards for long-term care, we must place a high value on listening to and learning from those on the front lines ‒ professionals in long-term care as well as residents and caregivers. They cannot be simply consulted; their input must inform and guide all decision-making.”

“Gathering input through the engagement of Canadians during the development of this critical Standard is a priority for CSA Group and our Technical Subcommittee as we move towards public review in February 2022,” says Mary Cianchetti, President of Standards, CSA Group. “We invite Canadians to review the What We Heard reports and visit our Community page to learn more about how their voices can be heard.”

CSA Group’s consultation process is one of several opportunities for Canadians to engage throughout the development of the new Standard. A draft of CSA Z8004, Operation and infection prevention and control of long-term care homes, will be released for public review in February 2022 for a 60-day period. The Standard is expected to be published in December 2022. CSA Group will hold information sessions for different targeted audiences and the broader public to provide knowledge on the new Standard and promote awareness of its contents.