Meet an Accreditation Canada Surveyor: Mike Nader
April 9, 2018
Mike Nader is Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at the University Health Network (UHN).
A seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of experience in the health care sector, Nader has been a surveyor for Accreditation Canada (AC) for about nine years.
Nader notes that what he enjoys about being a surveyor for AC is the opportunity to ‘deep dive’ into an organization and be exposed to things and situations you wouldn’t normally be exposed to.
Nader points back to a survey where he was conducting an Ambulatory Care tracer with a patient who was being told that she had breast cancer.
“That is such an intimate moment for someone – hearing that diagnosis, and I was able to be there and observe the compassion and care the health team provided,” he says.
He adds that in that situation, he was able to observe and assess the organization in real time. “That’s the ultimate tracer,” Nader says. “Where you’re actually able to follow a patient’s journey.”
He notes that being a surveyor has also enabled him to learn from other organizations; about their success and how they’ve solved challenges they have faced.
“As a surveyor, you get out and you get to see how others are tackling the same challenges that we’re all facing in the health care system,” Nader says.
Nader notes that one of the great things about the accreditation process is that it enables organizations to celebrate their success and highlight the great care that they are providing.
“It’s a celebration of the great work organizations do every day,” he says. “It also allows organizations to identify areas that they need to improve upon.”
Nader notes that quality improvement is an ongoing process, as health care is always evolving and changing.
“Accreditation is an opportunity for us to assess our ability to keep up with quality standards and to continuously focus on that,” he says.
He adds that oftentimes, health organizations view the accreditation process as a test that they must do well on. “But for me, I think that it should be viewed as an opportunity to improve care and services, because quality improvement is something that is always happening,” Nader says.
He noted that UHN, in partnership with the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), are working with AC on extending their Caring Safely initiative, which focuses on developing and creating high reliability in hospitals.
“What we’ve experienced in our Caring Safely journey is a real shift in our organization around our reporting culture, identification of safety issues and concerns,” he says.
Nader adds that the two organizations are working with AC to make high reliability a common practice in all hospitals.
He also notes that the accreditation process helps to identify Leading Practices. “It can highlight the extraordinary work that benefits patients and that could benefit all health care organizations,” Nader says.
In March, AC’s affiliate Health Standards Organization (HSO) updated its Leading Practices Library, which offers nearly 1,000 Leading Practices.
A Leading Practice is a practice carried out by a health and/or social service organization, that has demonstrated a positive change, is people-centred, safe and efficient.
Nader notes that patients are important when it comes to improving the quality of care and services. He says UHN works with more than 100 patient partners.
“It’s very clear, the benefit that patient partners bring to how we deliver care and how we can improve the care that we are delivering to other patients within our organization,” he says.
Nader adds that AC was a key player in championing the inclusion of the patient voice and perspective in quality improvement initiatives. “I think Accreditation Canada should be commended for that,” he said.
Nader notes that UHN has learned a lot from its patient partners and their health journeys. “Some of the stories are good. Some of the stories are bad, but we learn from all of them,” he says.
He notes that patient surveyors are also important as they bring a different perspective to the accreditation process.
“They bring a completely different lens to the conversation,” Nader says. “The different things that they focus on are so complimentary to the standards that we’re assessing.”
At AC, the role of patient surveyors was co-designed with all stakeholders; patient partners, surveyors, client organizations, and AC staff.
Another benefit of being a surveyor, Nader adds, is the valuable network that you become part of.
“The health network that you create by being part of this team is exceptional,” he says. “I’ve learned from so many great people about the way they are doing things and how they are addressing the challenges.”
In 2017, AC worked with more than 500 surveyors to complete 247 accreditation surveys in Canada and abroad.
Want to know more about AC’s surveyor team? Learn more here.