5 Keys to Accreditation Success

August 28, 2017

CongratulationsAre you considering accreditation? Or maybe you’re already underway with the process and preparing for your survey?

We’ve put together five tips to set you up for success:

Make accreditation an ongoing process:

Dr. David Keselman, CEO at Louis Brier Home & Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. and a surveyor for Accreditation Canada (AC), says the first accreditation survey is a launching pad for a four-year, continuous improvement journey.

“Before the first survey, there is always a heightened level of activity,” says Dr. Keselman. “But that level of activity has to remain throughout the whole four-year [accreditation] process.”

Rather than preparing for one survey, Keselman suggests making quality improvement part of your everyday activities, and everyone’s job. Viewing accreditation as a continuous improvement journey better serves the people relying on your services, and can help your organization grow.

Make accreditation a standing item in your meetings:

Whether your team meets once a week or once a month, put accreditation on the agenda.

Team meetings are great opportunities to discuss accreditation, quality and safety, and ensure that your process is on track. They’re also chances to keep staff updated on what is taking place when, and to make sure they understand their roles in the accreditation process. Encourage people to participate. Ask open-ended questions. Listen actively.

Samantha Hamilton, Director of Quality and Patient Safety at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), says staff engagement is key to a successful accreditation process.

Prior to being Accredited with Exemplary Standing in May, Hamilton says TOH saw the accreditation process as an opportunity to showcase the wonderful work that the organization was doing.

“[It] was an opportunity to show these people why it’s special to be a patient or a family member here,” she said. Hamilton added that this focus “… connected people by their hearts.” “They were committed and they cared,” she says.

Refer to HSO standards:

Accreditation Canada assessments are based on best-in-class standards developed by AC’s affiliate, Health Standards Organization (HSO).

The standards include all the criteria upon which you will be evaluated during your accreditation survey. To better prepare for accreditation, you may want to refer to the standards when you are developing a new program, writing a new policy, or revising any existing programs or policies.

(Did you know you can be part of the standards development process? All HSO standards go through full public reviews.)

The AC client portal is a great resource:

On the AC client portal, you’ll find a ton of resources to help you to engage your staff and prepare for your accreditation process.

One document of note is the Plan and Frameworks Guide. You can use it to assess where you are now and to develop your plan to reach your quality improvement goals moving forward.

Also on the portal, you’ll find AC’s Accreditation Decision Guidelines, a video explaining Patient- and Family-Centred Care, a video overview of the QmentumTM program, promotional tools and much more. Many of these resources can be shared with your staff members to inform them and to get them engaged in the accreditation process.

Look for the link to the portal on the homepage of AC’s new and improved website: www.accreditation.ca

Contact AC with your questions:

If you have any questions at all about your accreditation process, your Program Manager (formerly Accreditation Specialist) is here to help!

AC’s staff members are engaged in your accreditation process and are dedicated to helping you succeed. And we have extended our hours of service from Monday to Thursday to 7 p.m. EST, so that our clients in the West can reach us during their business hours.

Because quality improvement is a journey and a continuous process, AC staff are here to help you identify things you do well and areas where you can improve. Throughout the process however, remember to acknowledge your successes – big and small. Celebrate the improvement of your organization and people that are key players in its success!