Meet Accreditation Canada Surveyor: Merna Bee
November 8, 2018
Merna Bee is Leader, Accreditation Team, at the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia. She has also been a surveyor for Accreditation Canada (AC) since 2016.
Merna is a Respiratory Therapist with a diverse background of experience, having worked in the operating room, special care nurseries, intensive care units, emergency departments, and more.
Merna says that she wanted to be a surveyor for AC because she wanted to work to improve access to quality care for patients and families.
“I started looking for opportunities where I could work to persuade my peers and work to solve issues that I saw,” she says.
Merna adds that she soon found herself working in Fraser Health’s Accreditation Department and shortly after, she decided to join AC as a surveyor.
“It’s just been such an exciting journey,” she says. “In our Accreditation Department, I’ve been able to watch our teams grow and see the care they provide get better and safer.”
Merna notes that being a surveyor for AC is a valuable learning experience, as you get to learn from other organizations about how they have resolved issues and improved care.
“It’s a really great sharing experience,” Merna says. “You have the opportunity to help organizations with difficulties they are experiencing, and you can also share examples of how things were improved at your own organization.”
Merna notes that the accreditation process is important, as it helps organizations set a standard for safe care.
“It gives us the basic groundwork to be able to guarantee to patients that we are accountable for the care that we are providing,” she said.
She adds that patients should be able to go to the hospital and know they are receiving the best care that is available to them.
Merna says that what makes AC different from other accrediting bodies is that its programs can be applied across Canada and internationally. “You get the flavour of a larger map,” she said.
Merna said that one of her most memorable survey experiences was a survey she completed last month for Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick.
She notes that through surveys and interviews, each community within the regional health authority developed its own structure of services that were based on what that specific community needed.
“That was really impactful for me, to see that it’s possible for communities and health providers to be geared towards how patients use services and how they want to use those services moving forward,” she said.
Presently in health care, more focus is being placed on empowering patients and having them be active participants in their care.
AC currently has 14 trained patient surveyors who have been actively participating on accreditation surveys since March 2018.
Merna notes that more can be done to educate and empower patients.
“Part of providing quality care is to educate people and make them realize that they are responsible for their own care,” she says. “Patients have a say in what we do.”
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.