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Knowledge is power

Learning from the pandemic
By Tom Wellner

The Spanish philosopher George Santayana, famously wrote, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” As our knowledge of the COVID-19 virus evolves we have the opportunity to learn all we can from this global pandemic which has disproportionately impacted seniors.

With this in mind, Revera developed a comprehensive Pandemic Response Plan, focused on five priority areas: external advisory committee, analytics, building and infrastructure, clinical and operational initiatives, and staffing.

  • External Advisory Committee
    This group of experts in medicine, health policy, aging and geriatrics, and healthcare infrastructure is working to build on the knowledge gained during the pandemic. Its goal is to establish best practices in congregative living for older adults, including long-term care and retirement living, and provide technical expertise and advice to establish practical, actionable industry-leading strategies to further enhance the safety and well-being of residents and staff.
“Knowing what we know now about COVID-19 and using that knowledge effectively is our best defence.”
  • Analytics
    Revera is uniquely positioned to shape the future of the senior living sector and improve the experience of our residents. While the pandemic has created significant challenges, it is important to note that 67 per cent of Revera long term care and 86 per cent of Revera retirement residences have not been affected by COVID-19 outbreaks to date. Our hearts go out to the residents we lost to this pandemic, and we are compiling all available information or data that can help us prevent future tragedies.

    We have partnered with Accenture to analyze data from Revera’s more than 150 long term care homes and retirement residences and our more than 20,000 residents across Canada. Our goal is to understand the correlation between the occurrence, spread and severity of COVID-19 outbreaks and clinical, operational, building/structural, and geographical contexts. These additional insights will help guide our actions ahead of a potential second wave.

  • Building and Infrastructure
    Revera is reassessing the building design of our long term care homes and retirement residences with a focus on infection prevention and control. Evidence from the first wave of the pandemic suggests older homes with ward-style rooms make infection prevention and control more challenging. For this reason, Revera plans to no longer operate four-bed ward rooms and we will work with government to make this happen as quickly and safely as possible. Going forward, the goal is to have no more than two people per room. Revera also hopes to accelerate its long term care redevelopment program with the support of governments.

  • Clinical and Operational Initiatives
    Revera is utilizing the latest technology from HealthConnex to help our frontline teams be more efficient in collecting and reporting on infection control-related data. HealthConnex allows staff to capture and report on information including infection cases, laboratory results, hand hygiene audits, immunization, and antibiotic and multi-drug resistant organism (ARO/MDRO) history as part of the clinical care planning process.

  • Staffing
    Revera is establishing a new Regional Recruitment Model which will assist with local recruitment efforts to help ensure residents have better continuity of care. To support short term staffing challenges, Revera recently invested $1 million, in addition to an initial investment of $500,000, in BookJane, an innovative platform that enables Revera’s employees and qualified caregivers to view and accept open shifts at the click of a button.
There is still much we don’t know about COVID-19 and the pandemic continues to be an evolving challenge. As a result, we too must evolve and adapt. Knowing what we know now about COVID-19 and using that knowledge effectively is our best defence.

Be well. Stay safe. Be strong.
Tom Wellner
By Tom Wellner
Tom Wellner is President and CEO of Revera. He has led Revera since 2014 and has guided its strategic direction to grow, innovate and lead in the sector. He has a passion for innovative solutions to complex problems and believes that innovation is key to designing a better aging experience.