Letter from Leslee

December 17, 2020

Introducing our New Continuous Assessment Model


As 2020 comes to a close, all of us at Health Standards Organization (HSO) and Accreditation Canada (AC) are reflecting on the unusual year that was for all of us. This past year has tested our resilience, our commitment, and our dedication. It also brought to light many challenges that exist across health and social services. The strength and compassion of front-line workers and all those contributing to the delivery of safe, reliable care in this unprecedented situation is truly inspirational, and we thank you.

Five years ago, our two organizations set out on a mission to inspire people to make positive change that improves the quality of health and social services in Canada, and around the world. It was based on changes that we heard loud and clear from our consultations with more than 700 stakeholders including patients and their families, clinicians, leaders, policy makers, and experts. Since then, we have been co-designing our standards and assessment methods, connecting the health eco-system from health education to diagnostics to community-based organizations and health systems. We have embraced and embedded people and population centred care into everything we do and are focused on supporting integrated care. But perhaps most importantly, we have been building the foundation to support organizations on their continuous quality improvement journeys.

Now more than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for vigilance on maintaining safe, reliable, person-centred care that can withstand unexpected disruptions such as outbreaks, pandemic or other disasters.

That is why, over the next three years, we will be transitioning clients to our new continuous assessment program.

The new continuous assessment program reduces peaks of intense pressure in one year and spreads the assessment over the course of the cycle, with new approaches, tools, methodologies and a digital platform to align with your organization’s priorities and continuous quality improvement plans. Several new features will be introduced through a transition phase that allows each organization to start its continuous assessment at its own place in its accreditation cycle. Some of the new features that will introduced are:

  • New assessment methodologies which will include virtual surveys mid-cycle and attestation to reduce duplication wherever an organization has submitted the same information/evidence as part of other regulatory or mandatory reporting.
  • New survey instruments; one which which will consolidate the Patient Safety Culture and Work-life Pulse instruments into a single instrument, and a new Governance Functioning Tool; these will provide benchmarking and trending data.
  • New, revised and existing standards with updated decision guidelines.
  • All of the above will be powered by a new, cloud-based digital platform, OnboardQi.

At HSO and AC we believe that safe, reliable and quality care leads to quality of life – for patients and their families. We appreciate the opportunity to embark on this continuous quality improvement journey with you, and to advance our shared vision of quality health and social services for all.

We are committed to working with you on your organization’s specific transition plan and will provide training, education and other supporting resources. We will be reaching out with further communications on this matter in 2021.

In the meantime, we want to acknowledge all the hard work, dedication and resilience of all our organizations during these challenging and unprecedented times. Thank you for your unwavering commitment and many contributions to deliver people-centred, safe, reliable care every, single day.

Leslee Thompson,
Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Organization