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Residence certification program on track at CSSS Cavendish

CSSS Cavendish is ahead of schedule upgrading professional services offered at nearly two dozen West End Montreal private senior citizens residences, in compliance with provincial health ministry regulations, an official says.

The local health and social services agency, which oversees 24 private seniors residences in its territory, has been participating in a wide-ranging certification program. The overall goal is to improve a range of measures for health and security needs at the residences by mid-June.

In the fall of 2005, Quebec announced the action plan, meant primarily to improve conditions for seniors with reduced autonomy. As of last week, a few homes in CSSS Cavendish’s territory were still in the process of completing the certification process.

“We certified some in March and April,” said Joanne Besner, a CSSS Cavendish administrator responsible for overseeing certification on two specific points at the residences. Fourteen more certificates are being issued in May and June.

“We’re going to be able to do it. We’ve made it a priority and we’re going to push ahead.”

To validate the certification, the CSSS is signing an agreement with each of the residences. Certification varies with each, depending on the professional staff at the residences. Staffing is not the same at all of them. Some employ registered nurses, while others have trained health care attendants. A re-certification must take place every two years.

An entente will be signed by CSSS Cavendish with 22 of the residences for two specific articles of certification. They concern the administration of medication and invasive care.“For anyone receiving medication or invasive care delegated to a nonprofessional, it has to be done within the program and has to have an encadrement,” Besner said. “That’s where we come in.”

Twentyfour other articles for improvement, ranging from fire safety to nutritional standards, must also be completed before the residences can attain certification. That process is being overseen by the Agence de la Santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, which is responsible for Montreal Island.

Besner said the CSSS’s role regarding those issues is mostly consultative. “In the attainment of their certification we are here to support them,” she said.“For other articles they may ask us for information and references.”

According to Besner, certification should reassure families that the standards and quality of services are higher than ever at the residences. “The great thing is that now every single residence that operates has to be certified,” she said. “They have to conform to these 26 articles. The beauty is that it’s formalized. They have to be re-certified every two years and a residence cannot operate legally without this certification.

“This is definitely a positive thing. This doesn’t guarantee the best quality, but it certainly provides a guideline and access.”



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