Nanaimo Division of Family Practice

Behavioural Support Teams (BeST)

What are Behavioural Support Teams?

In late 2018 the Shared Care Committee provided funding to the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice to pilot a Behavioural Support Team (BeST) approach to support patients with challenging Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD).

Working in partnership with Family Physicians, Specialists, Island Health MHSU, and Long-Term Care centres in Nanaimo, this project aims to create in-house Behavioural Support Teams to support dementia patients in residential care.

How do Behavioral Support Teams work?

The project leverages the existing provincial P.I.E.C.E.S. approach to dementia management to support the process change. P.I.E.C.E.S.  stands for Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Capabilities, Environment and Social factors. BeST members (including MRPs) will be trained to assess residents in each of the P.I.E.C.E.S areas. As a result, they will be better equipped to manage the challenging behaviours of dementia patients without the use of medication, wherever possible. The P.I.E.C.E.S.  program is supported by Island Health and is used by the Geriatric Specialty Services teams in Nanaimo. Using existing methodologies accepted and in operational use by Island Health will enhance continuity and spread of practice.

What will the BeST project achieve?

Using the P.I.E.C.E.S framework, and developing existing Health Authority referral documents and processes, the project aims to implement a standardized behavioral management approach to dementia patients in long term care in order to:

  • Improve and standardize pre and post referral processes:
  • Develop facility-based teams
  • Improve communication between facility staff; Family Physicians, Allied Health Professionals, and Specialists

What does success look like?

  • Reduction of the amount of inappropriate referral to Psychiatric services and therefore prioritize urgent referrals.
  • Improvement in patient outcomes by:
  • reducing the prescribing of inappropriate anti-psychotic medications
  • Improving functional wellbeing for patients (improved or remained independent in mid-loss ADL)

Which Facilities are taking part in the Pilot?

There are four of the Nanaimo facilities that are in the pilot for BeST, they are:

  • Malaspina Gardens
  • Kiwanis Village
  • Avenir Memory Care
  • Eden Gardens

For more information contact