Accreditation Brings ‘Seal of Approval’ to Best Practices & Processes: Stretcher Service of Manitoba
November 3, 2017
Accreditation is a positive experience, working to validate best practices and processes put forward by an organization, says Stretcher Service of Manitoba.
Lolo Eckert, Chief Executive Officer at Stretcher Service of Manitoba, says her recent survey experience with Accreditation Canada (AC) was “outstanding.” “[The accreditation experience] was a validation that what we were doing was appropriate and had meaning,” Eckert says.
In late September, Stretcher Service of Manitoba – a non-urgent patient transportation service – underwent AC’s introductory Primer Accreditation program. Eckert noted that Stretcher Service of Manitoba entered into AC’s accreditation program to ‘safety check’ its services. “We wanted to validate that we were doing the right thing in the right way,” she says. “We wanted to seize the opportunity to learn and be better.”
Throughout the three-day survey experience, Eckert notes that AC’s surveyors were “outstanding,” offering “incredible insight” on many topics, including training tips and techniques. She adds that surveyors also demonstrated a strong knowledge of the industry the organization operates in and the challenges it faces daily.
“They truly walked it like they talked it,” Eckert says. “It was great to see such commitment, knowledge and exuberance.”
Eckert notes that the value of accreditation is that it is a helpful benchmarking tool, enabling an organization to measure the quality of its services against national standards.
She says that Stretcher Service of Manitoba succeeded in AC’s Primer Accreditation program. “This shows that we’re leaders within our industry and that we’re connected with an accrediting body that’s led by industry experts,” she says. “We’re united in [quality] care. We’re united in safety. We’re united in excellence and in doing the right thing every time, for every patient.”
For patients and families, Eckert notes that accreditation brings reassurance. She says that as Stretcher Service of Manitoba was successful in the Primer program, patients and families can expect a certain level of care. “Knowing that our organization has met those stringent standards, it brings a seal of approval to patients and their family members,” she says.
Eckert adds that with AC’s Primer Accreditation program, Stretcher Service of Manitoba aimed to measure the quality and safety of its services.
“You always want to have a report card based on leaders in the industry and on individuals that you respect and admire; those who you know have the patient’s best interest in mind,” Eckert said. She adds that the accreditation process was rewarding as it validated everything that her team has been working towards.
She noted that improvement in her organization is a continual process requiring a strong training foundation, clear communication, “a total spotlight focus on safety,” stringent policies and procedures, quality assurance, inspection and coaching.
She adds that throughout the accreditation survey process, AC’s surveyors applauded the daily commitment that Stretcher Service of Manitoba makes to quality and safety.
“I’d just like to mention how proud we are to be a part of the accreditation process and how it truly validated everything we’ve worked for,” Eckert said.
Accreditation Primer is AC’s 12 to 18-month introductory accreditation program. Primer helps organizations assess key areas of quality and safety that must be in place before they can undertake the more detailed Qmentum Accreditation program.
In a follow-up note to AC, Eckert added that during the Primer accreditation survey, surveyors provided the organization with actionable next steps and direction on future training ideas. “This entire process has been a tremendous experience for our staff,” she said. “It has enabled us to improve in many ways.”
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