Staff and Patient Engagement Is Key to Accreditation Success for Women’s College Hospital

January 11, 2018

Staff and Patient Engagement Is Key to Accreditation Success for Women's College HospitalWomen’s College Hospital’s Qmentum accreditation survey took place from Dec. 4-8, 2017.

“We’re celebrating as an organization and we’re full of pride in our achievement,” says Nora Milne, Accreditation Coordinator, Quality, Safety and Patient Experience. “We’ve successfully met all of the 1,257 quality [requirements].”

Milne notes the organization viewed the accreditation process as an opportunity to engage with and learn from one another.

“In our preparations, we focused a great deal on staff engagement, and the energy and attention devoted to that really helped lead to our success,” she says.

Elaine Goulbourne, Director, Clinical Resources and Performance at the hospital, says that with the accreditation process, the organization welcomed the opportunity to measure itself against Accreditation Canada (AC)’s standards, which are now being developed by AC’s affiliate, Health Standards Organization (HSO).

“[Accreditation] ensures that we are benchmarking ourselves against high standards in care delivery, quality and safety,” Goulbourne says.

She adds that the accreditation process also allows the hospital to continue to build and strengthen its reputation and partnerships within the community, giving more confidence to its patients, their families and its community partners.

“For people coming into the hospital, knowing that it’s been accredited, it gives them a sense of satisfaction that this is a safe organization that has met high levels of excellence in care and quality,” Goulbourne says.

On Nov. 28, 2017, HSO announced that it was officially accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to develop National Standards of Canada. HSO is the only Standards Development Organization in Canada solely dedicated to developing health and social service standards.

Goulbourne says HSO’s new accreditation means that patients can expect the same level of quality and efficient care no matter where they are in Canada.

“From a patient perspective, it gives a lot of confidence in the accreditation process,” she says, adding the new designation will also allow organizations to reduce duplications and work in a broader manner, collaborating and integrating processes across the entire health sector. “This is a great achievement,” Goulbourne said.

Milne notes that the hospital’s recent survey experience highlighted quality improvement initiatives that were being put in place. She says the accreditation process enabled the hospital to embed the importance of the patient experience into its processes and services.

“We embraced the adoption of Accreditation Canada standards on Client- and Family-Centred Care in their entirety, to highlight how we partner with patients in meaningful ways,” she says.

Goulbourne adds that Women’s College Hospital is working closely with patients as partners to design, deliver and evaluate programs and services.

“We’re no longer making assumptions about our patients’ needs,” she says. “We’re finding out what those needs are and we’re building services to address those needs.”

Goulbourne adds that since the hospital began to work more closely with patients, it has seen better outcomes with its services, more efficiency and a better patient satisfaction rate. “We’ve noticed a significant difference now that we’re working with patients as partners,” she said.

Milne notes that the hospital is actively working with patients to improve wayfinding throughout the facility.

“This will turn into more permanent signage throughout the hospital to make the experience better for patients,” she says.

Goulbourne adds that the hospital is also exploring the use of automated kiosks to make it easier for patients to check in and find their way from one service to another.

She notes that the hospital has been actively seeking patient feedback about the kiosks on their ease of use. “We’re using feedback from our clients to enable us to design and deliver something that is meaningful to them and is effective in helping them find their way through the organization,” she says.

Milne says the Women’s College Hospital’s accreditation experience was enjoyable as it enabled the organization to celebrate the great work that it does every day.

“It’s been incredible to see us work together towards this achievement and to be able to celebrate about the work we’re doing,” she said.

Located in Toronto, Ont., Women’s College Hospital is Canada’s leading academic, ambulatory hospital and a world leader in women’s health.

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