Accreditation leads to quality-focused thinking, better partnerships for Pinaymootang Health Centre

March 14, 2018

Accreditation leads to more quality-focused thinking and better partnerships with health authorities across Manitoba, says Pinaymootang First Nation Health Centre.

Pinaymootang Health Centre Staff

Pinaymootang Health Centre Staff

Located in Fairford, Man., the Pinaymootang Health Centre serves the Pinaymootang First Nation; a community of 3,500 residents, with 1,500 living on reserve. The Pinaymootang community is located 250 km north of Winnipeg.

Gwen Traverse, Director of Health at the Pinaymootang Health Centre, says the centre started the accreditation process with Accreditation Canada (AC)’s Primer program in 2012, before becoming fully accredited under AC’s Qmentum Accreditation program in 2014.

It is now in the process of preparing for its next survey, which will take place in September.

Traverse says that initially, the small health centre, which now has a staff of about 30, found the accreditation process to be challenging.

“We didn’t realize however, how rewarding it would be to know that we can meet the highest standards of care,” Traverse says. “As a small First Nations community, it’s helped us to prove ourselves.”

Benefits of Accreditation

Traverse notes that one of the changes that the accreditation process caused was a positive shift in the small organization’s way of thinking.

“Our mentality changed towards everything,” Traverse says. “Now, your mind revolves around the accreditation process, ensuring that there are no gaps and that you are meeting all the standards of care.”

Traverse says that another benefit of Pinaymootang’s accreditation process was the creation of Jordan’s Principle, a primary care program working to assist children with disabilities with special health care needs within the community.

She notes that the accreditation process helped to identify this gap in care in the community.

“There was no program in place to serve [First Nations] children with disabilities and special health care needs,” Traverse says. “We were able to capture funding for the program and implement it. The program then became a model for other communities in Manitoba and in other areas of Canada.”

She adds that Pinaymootang was also asked by Health Canada – Manitoba Region to create a tool kit to help other First Nations in Manitoba to implement the program.

“We developed five different modules to help communities implement a program similar to ours,” Traverse says. “The program was also highlighted as a High Impact Practice by the Canadian Home Care Association.”

Traverse notes that accreditation has been helpful to the Pinaymootang Health Centre in general, helping it to build and strengthen partnerships with local regional health authorities.

“As a First Nations health organization, accreditation helped us to justify who were were,” she says. “We were now able to find common ground and understanding, and begin the communication process on how we can work together to improve client care.”

Traverse adds that another benefit of accreditation was that it pushed the health centre to better document the great work that it was doing.

“You have a policy in place for everything that you do. Before accreditation, we were doing the work, but there was nothing in place to document it,” she says, adding that the accreditation process helped to improve the health centre’s systems overall.

Traverse notes that Pinaymootang chose to be accredited by AC, as it is recognized across Canada and it accredits organizations of all sizes. “We wanted to prove ourselves and we wanted to be reviewed as a whole organization,” she says.

Traverse notes that the health centre has undergone some significant changes since it was accredited in 2014.

She says the facility was expanded, more staff members have been brought on, and a pharmacy was established in partnership with the community. “Everything will have to be revisited and updated this time around,” Traverse said.

Do you want to become accredited? Get in touch with us today and an accreditation specialist will help guide you along your own quality improvement journey.

You can also read more accreditation success stories on our website.