Handbook launched to improve quality of care

For nine months from mid last year, nurses, physiotherapists and social workers at the Sunshine Welfare Action Mission (Swami) Home were accompanied by senior staff on their daily routine.

These experienced hands would observe, take mental notes and get feedback in areas such as respect, gentleness and attention towards residents at the home.

Findings were shared via discussions on improving procedures and training videos for the staff.

The idea behind the project was to provide its staff with a better understanding of the importance of providing more dignified care to its elderly residents.

Mr Lucas Siah, 32, a social work manager at the Swami Home, said the effort made staff more aware of the needs of the home's residents, which include people who are blind and the elderly.

"Previously, our staff were quite task-oriented," said Mr Siah, adding that they were now less likely to watch the clock, and more sensitive to the needs of residents.

"If residents want to take their time to eat, we respect their decision," he said.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) hopes that more organisations in the community care sector will undertake similar projects.

And to nudge them in this direction, AIC has introduced the Quality Improvement Toolkit handbook.

The handbook was launched yesterday by Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor at the fifth annual Intermediate and Long-Term Care Quality Festival .

The handbook not only contains tips, but also includes various methods and tools to introduce improvements in the quality of care, including how to identify areas for improvement and evaluating the effectiveness of solutions.

"We hope that this will help to guide our healthcare professionals," said Dr Khor.

The handbook complements workshops conducted by the AIC Learning Institute, which have been attended by more than 200 community care professionals since 2012.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2015, with the headline 'Handbook launched to improve quality of care'. Print Edition | Subscribe