Fair not square: Vancouver LTC brings fairground feel to its pre-accreditation engagement

July 24, 2017

Louis BrierAiming to get staff, residents, family members and the public excited about its accreditation process, Louis Brier Home & Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., held an accreditation fair complete with games and fairground treats.

Engaging Staff and the Community

Angela Millar, Director of Quality and Risk Management, Accreditation and Resident Experience at Louis Brier, says that the fair – held this May – marked the one year countdown to Louis Brier’s accreditation survey in 2018.

Millar notes that to get staff and the broader community involved in the accreditation process, Louis Brier held an event with a fairground theme, inviting staff, residents, their families and the public to enjoy hot dogs, cotton candy and games, and learn about accreditation as they went.

Millar says people were invited to visit various stations to learn about the different standards that Louis Brier will be assessed against. “We also had a station for Resident- and Family-Centred Care and a bigger station, focused on explaining what accreditation is,” Millar said.

She adds: “It was to get everyone involved. We wanted family members in the community to be aware as we want to encourage them to be a part of our committees and to help us work on different initiatives to meet the standards,” she says. Millar says that Louis Brier also has an Accreditation Steering Committee made up of residents, family members and staff.

Millar notes the Home & Hospital has already seen benefits from the early stages of its accreditation process.

“I was surprised by the amount of employee engagement we’ve seen and the amount of enthusiasm we’ve seen from residents and their families,” she says. “They are engaged in what we’re doing and want to improve the quality of care that we’re providing.”

Starting the Accreditation Process

Dr. David Keselman, CEO at Louis Brier 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] cycle.”

Dr. Keselman noted that the Home & Hospital was Accredited with Exemplary Standing by AC in 2011. But due to organizational restructuring and instability, it was not able to continue its accreditation journey. “We’ve now re-embarked on the accreditation journey and we’ve committed to have a survey done in May 2018,” he says.

Millar notes that Louis Brier wants to complete its accreditation process because it is under new, stable leadership that is dedicated to providing excellent care. “We want to be held to such high standards that we can be confident that we are providing excellent and quality care,” Millar says.

She adds that the Home & Hospital continued with AC’s accreditation process because the organization is internationally known and respected for its rigorous accreditation process. “If you’re going to put the effort in, you may as well shoot for the stars,” Millar says. “We know that Accreditation Canada is internationally known and respected. To measure ourselves against the highest standards, that’s the goal that we want to achieve.”

Dr. Keselman notes that AC’s accreditation program is valuable to any organization because it provides a roadmap to go forward and to work towards achieving the best possible outcomes for staff, residents and their families.

He says that even before the first accreditation survey, AC’s self-assessments can help organizations determine if they are offering the appropriate level of care and put action plans in place to help improve their services. “The work just starts with preparation for the first survey,” Dr. Keselman says. “After that, you continue to work on various items and elements. It’s about constantly improving.”

Millar says that the accreditation process provides a new way of thinking. “It provides a framework in which you can actually measure results. You have a roadmap and a plan to work towards providing excellent care that everyone can be proud of,” Millar says.

She notes that in the last few weeks, in preparation for the accreditation process, Louis Brier underwent an audit on their offering of Resident- and Family-Centred Care. Millar says the result of the audit was a report providing a roadmap on how the Home & Hospital could improve Resident- and Family-Centred Care.

“Staff are now seeing this in a completely new way,” she says. “They realize that Resident- and Family-Centred Care is something that you integrate into your daily work. They see that resident choice and involvement as well as family involvement can be a much more concrete way of providing care than they ever imagined before.”

Dr. Keselman adds that it’s important for an organization to go through the accreditation process to achieve safe, quality care. “Accreditation is a continuous quality improvement process,” he says. “It helps to identify gaps, what you’re doing well and how to improve upon what you’re doing well.”

The Louis Brier Home & Hospital is part of the Dr. Irving & Phylis Snider Campus for Jewish Seniors. The Weinberg Residence is also part of the Campus of Care. These facilities aim to offer several care options within the comfort of familiar surroundings.