How HIQA Regulations Improved our Nursing Home
Following a HIQA inspection Kilrush District Hospital was faced with the option of closing its community nursing home or undertaking a huge body of work that involved development and implementation of care plans, evidence based policies and procedures, defining governance structures, and structural changes to its building, among many other things.
“We always had inspections from the HSE, they would sit down with you and discuss improvements that had to be made in different areas. We were given time to make improvements, and we were always willing to carry out their requests’ explains John Hehir, Registered Provider, Kilrush District Hospital. ‘However we soon found out that HIQA does not operate in the same way, a set of standards were published and we were expected to adhere to them. Following our first inspection from HIQA we received a very negative report, we were called to meet with HIQA to discuss the findings of the report. At the meeting we told them that we were committed and willing to make the changes that were needed and that we had already hired Health Care Informed (HCI), a team of quality and safety specialists, to help us.’
‘We sat down with HCI and they put together a quality and safety management system incorporating the requirements of the HIQA regulations. From the first meeting with HCI we were convinced that they were the organisation to help us turn things around, only for HCI I don’t think we would have got through it.’
‘Kilrush District Hospital has always had an excellent reputation for the care it provides to its residents, where we were lacking in was defined processes, evidence based policies and procedures, paperwork and training. One of our main problems, and one of the findings from the HIQA report, was the structure of the building. Originally we were a 60 bed nursing home but in order to meet regulations and give more space and comfort to residents we reduced this to 45 beds.’
‘There have been many changes in the past 18 months, a new medication management programme, changes in governance and structure, care plans, risk management framework, monthly team meetings and evidence based policies and procedures that work for our Nursing Home. However, the biggest change is that residents now have a more comfortable and fulfilled life. We now have a dedicated activities co-ordinator that ensures residents have a varied range of suitable activities planned for each week. They have a wider choice of meals, better interaction with staff and due to the physical changes in the building more comfortable surroundings.’
‘I can honestly say we would not be in existence today if we had not taken the decision to work with HCI. We have worked with HCI for 18 months and they have never been found wanting. We can pick up the phone and have a response (verbal or written) to any query on the same day, it is never a problem. HCI guide us in best practice. They are not afraid to tell us what has to be done, they are big on seeing visible results and seeing the evidence based policies and procedures implemented in the day to day running of the nursing home. HCI have helped us instil, and grow a culture of continuous improvement. We don’t want to just get registered, for us it is an on-going process.’
John concludes: ‘We have always stated that the resident is our number one priority, that is why we are here, to serve our residents. Now, with the excellent job that HCI has done, we can now offer our residents even better care.’
‘HCI have the experience, knowledge and ability to identify, drive and implement all of the changes that were needed at Kilrush District Hospital to comply with HIQA regulations’.
‘We got total support and guidance from HCI and as a result have retained them as quality and safety specialists.’