Meet Accreditation Canada Surveyor: Dr. Edward Kucharski

February 5, 2019

Dr. Edward Kucharski has been a family physician for 11 years.

Dr. Edward Kucharski

Dr. Edward Kucharski

He is a family physician at South East Toronto Family Health Team and the Regional Primary Care Lead for Cancer Care Ontario. Dr. Kucharski is also Chair of the Cancer Committee at the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Dr. Kucharski has been a surveyor for Accreditation Canada since 2012-2013. He says however, that he took on the role somewhat reluctantly.

Already busy with his current roles, Kucharski was hesitant to add another responsibility to his list. “I didn’t want to do it,” he said.

He notes however that coworker and fellow AC surveyor, Moyra Vande Vooren, convinced him to go through the application process.

“Moyra wouldn’t tell me to do something three or four times if she didn’t think it was a good idea,” Dr. Kucharski said.

He said he decided to apply to be a surveyor as he had learned a lot about the accreditation process when he was the Medical Director at Sherbourne Health.

“I became very involved in the accreditation process and I got to know all of the content in the standards really well,” he said. “Then, I was interested in learning more about it from the other side.”

Kucharski says that an enjoyable aspect about being a surveyor is that you get to learn from other organizations and you get to highlight the great work they are doing.

“As surveyors, we don’t just go into an organization and tell them what they’re missing or not doing,” he said. “We actually recognize the excellent work that is being done by an individual or by a group.”

He adds that as a surveyor, you can also take useful things you’ve learned back to your own organization.

“Being a surveyor has helped me to be able to see where opportunities for improvement lie in the organizations I’m currently at and also, where we excel,” he said.

He notes that one of his most memorable survey experiences so far was when he headed up to northern British Columbia to survey aspects of the Northern Health Authority.

“I didn’t think I would be going to northern British Columbia to look at obstetrical services and other health care services being provided in such a beautiful but remote part of Canada,” he says.

Dr. Kucharski notes that though it took him a bit of time to warm up to the idea, being a surveyor is a “satisfying and enriching” part of his professional life.

“As we get closer to the end of a survey, I often reflect on what a satisfying and wonderful experience it is to be a surveyor.”

Kucharski says the accreditation process is important as it solidifies and nurtures the great work that’s being done, while also leading organizations towards safety and quality improvement.

“It’s really nice to take the time to pause and reflect as a health care leader, and see the excellent work that is being done,” he said.

In the past few years, AC has been working to ensure that the voices of patients and families are a part of everything we do.

AC has several trained patient surveyors who have been actively participating in accreditation surveys since March 2018.

“I believe that including the voices of our patients and families in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care services makes the care we provide to them even better,” Kucharski says.

Dr. Kucharski received his medical training at the University of Ottawa. He then did his residency at the University of Toronto at Saint Michael’s Hospital.

Do you want to help organizations improve the quality and safety of their care? Discover 5 reasons to be an AC surveyor.

You can also get in touch with AC’s surveyor team.