Implementation of the “one high risk site only” policy – its impact on staff, family and LTC residents

Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould’s team is one of two BC research teams being co-funded by MSFHR and the BC Ministry of Health, and supported by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, as part of the Implementation Science Teams – Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care Initiative led by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

It is essential that we stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in long-term care. The Public Health Agency of Canada instituted evidence-based, rapid redesign and resource redeployment practices to protect the health and ensure the safety of staff, residents and their families. Measures included strict visitation and “one high risk site” staffing policies, prohibiting LTC staff from employment in more than one facility. Our mixed methods, exploratory study will focus on implementation and impact of the “one high risk site” staffing policy on staff, family and residents in 4 LTC facilities in 2 British Columbia health authorities. We are guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). 

We have the necessary expertise to conduct this study that spans implementation science, LTC, quantitative and qualitative methods and knowledge translation (KT). Our team includes early (Havaei – co-PI, Hung), mid-career (Sims-Gould – PI) and established (Macphee, Phinney, Robinovitch, McKay) researchers, and trainees (Franke, Staempfli) together with committed and passionate LTC administrators (Keselman, Lee, Kirk, Strath), senior health authority executives (Mak, Sorensen) and Min of Health (Neilson) partners and KU. Two collaborators offer expertise in implementation measures (Lewis) and national LTC policy (Tamblyn-Watts).

Short-term outcomes: Knowledge users are positioned to immediately translate evidence into practice to inform LTC improvements at the facility level. We will share results through the LTC+ Acting on Pandemic Learning Together Initiative. Facilities that signed up to participate in this initiative have immediate access to results of our study across jurisdictions.

Long-term outcomes: Lessons learned about positive and negative consequences of the “one high risk site” policy can be applied in other jurisdictions. We will provide a roadmap to effectively implement future policies in response to COVID-19 in LTC settings. Partnerships we develop foster future collaborations and capacity building among academics and the LTC sector.

Funding competition: CFHI-led Implementation Science Teams (IST) – Strengthening Pandemic Preparedness in Long-Term Care (LTC) Funding Opportunity

Funders: MSFHR; BC Ministry of Health