Meet an Accreditation Canada Surveyor: Ed Mantler
March 8, 2018
Ed Mantler is Vice-President, Programs and Priorities at the Mental Health Commission of Canada. He is also a surveyor for Accreditation Canada (AC) as well as Co-Chair of Health Standards Organization (HSO)’s Mental Health and Addictions Technical Committee.
Mantler became a surveyor for AC in 2003. He was working in the mental health field and the facility he was working at was undergoing its accreditation survey.
He says that the whole survey process was a valuable learning experience. “It was so enlightening and informative,” Mantler says. “I learned so much through the preparation for the survey, but also from the surveyors, through their comments, the discussions, the survey and the report.”
He notes that he was honoured to be invited to apply to become a surveyor. “I haven’t looked back,” he says.
Mantler began his career in the health sector as a psychiatric nurse at a mental health facility in Alberta.
He notes however, that when he realized that the mental health system at the time had lots of room for improvement, he decided to pursue a Master’s degree to help implement change from a higher, leadership level.
“I wasn’t satisfied with working in the existing system,” Mantler says. “I saw a lot of room for improvement and I wanted to be part of molding the change that I saw the system needed.”
After obtaining his Master’s in Administration, Mantler notes that he spent the next 18 years in health leadership roles in Alberta. “I saw a great deal of change and improvement throughout the province,” he says.
Mantler notes that the accreditation process is important as it works to improve health care broadly across Canada. “It’s an incredibly important tool to improving the health system for all Canadians,” he says.
He adds that standards – which are now developed by AC’s affiliate HSO – put emphasis on important areas such as hand washing and medication errors, which works to improve quality and patient safety overall.
“Knowing that most organizations in the country participate in AC’s accreditation process, it really raises the bar for health care in Canada,” he says.
In November, HSO announced that it was accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to develop National Standards of Canada in health and social services.
Mantler notes that being a surveyor for AC is a challenging and rewarding experience.
He says that surveying has contributed significantly to his professional learning and development, allowing him to connect with a broad network of health care leaders.
“There’s seldom an issue that comes up in my day-to-day work where I can’t think of someone that I can call for advice, because I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many surveyors and leaders,” he says. “It’s been invaluable.”
Over the past year, AC and HSO have been working hard to put people at the center of everything we do.
AC has 14 trained patient surveyors available to participate on accreditation surveys.
“This is a fantastic idea,” Mantler says. He adds that the Mental Health Commission works to include patients as lived experience experts whenever possible.
“It really shapes the work that we do in a way that wouldn’t be achieved without that voice being at the decision-making table in an active way,” he says.
He notes that the same is true for the accreditation process. Mantler says that it’s one thing to ask patients and family members about their experience, but it’s another thing to engage them and embed them throughout the accreditation process, giving them an equal and vital role to play.
“I think that it can only enhance the accreditation reports that go back to the organizations and enhance the value of the work Accreditation Canada is doing.”
Mantler adds that he was honoured to be asked to Co-Chair HSO’s Mental Health and Addictions Technical Committee, which develops standards and assesses leading practices related to acute care mental health services, community-based mental health services and addictions (substance use and problem gambling).
He notes that he’s excited to be part of the work that HSO is doing as it has an impact on health organizations across Canada.
“It’s an opportunity to raise the bar for the mental health of Canadians, in the same way that things like medication safety and quality improvement have been highlighted for physical health,” Mantler says. “I’m really excited to be part of that.”
He adds that the Technical Committee is well into the process of revising existing standards and adding new criteria into those standards.
AC has more than 500 surveyors that are regularly deployed on accreditation surveys in Canada and internationally. Learn more about AC’s Surveyor Team.