Qmentum a ‘terrific experience,’ Pincher Creek Emergency Services says

April 11, 2017

The Qmentum accreditation program was “a terrific experience,” says Marg Cox, Deputy Chief Ambulance Pincher Creek Emergency Services.

Located in Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta, Pincher Creek Emergency Services – an integrated fire, rescue, ambulance and medical first response organization – underwent its first Qmentum survey on March 6, 7 and 8, 2017.

In a telephone interview, Cox noted that the small organization, which has less than 10 full-time staff members, was initially nervous about the Qmentum survey process. “We had a lot of jitters beforehand,” Cox said. “But it was a great experience.”

Cox said the Qmentum surveyors were helpful, not only evaluating the small organization but also, sharing their knowledge, identifying things Pincher Creek was excelling at and areas where they could improve. “That was huge to us,” Cox said. “They didn’t just come here to judge or evaluate. They came here obviously, to help improvement.”

Cox noted that Pincher Creek first headed down the accreditation path with Accreditation Canada (AC)’s Primer accreditation program as it was mandated to do so by Alberta Health Services (AHS). It then underwent the Qmentum accreditation program two years later. “That’s why we started, but it’s been a very very positive thing.”

She added that with the introductory Primer process, Pincher Creek learned how much it needed to improve as an organization from the grassroots up. Then with Qmentum, Cox noted, Pincher Creek learned that it had to continue on its improvements and on its aim to make patient safety one of its main priorities.

She said that the accreditation process has been good for the organization but also, for the Pincher Creek community as a whole. “It leads to better communication, better team work, more improvement organization-wide and throughout the community,” Cox said.

Cox said that with both its Primer and Qmentum experiences, Pincher Creek learned that “it’s not about the destination, but the journey.”

She added that though surveyors come in to evaluate what’s going on in an organization, they also share their knowledge, ideas and help forge a path for the organization to follow and keep moving forward. “We learned that we were already doing a lot of good work,” Cox said. “But they shared their knowledge with us and helped us get onto the right path in a lot of places.

Cox noted that as Pincher Creek is a small organization, it didn’t know what to expect from the accreditation process. “We felt like we might be comparing country mouse to city mouse,” she said. “But the surveyors were absolutely fantastic.”

She said the benefits of the accreditation process for the Pincher Creek organization and community are “terrific.” “We are becoming a better, stronger organization and putting that out to our community,” Cox said.

To learn more about the Primer and Qmentum accreditation programs, visit Accreditation Canada’s website.