Niagara, ON: The Niagara Health System has been awarded accreditation for all seven hospital sites, after an exhaustive examination by five Accreditation Canada surveyors earlier this year.
Similar to ISO 9000 for industry, every few years a team of surveyors comes to conduct a comprehensive review of hospital programs, processes and documentation, measuring performance against 1,712 different criteria.
“The survey process tells us where we are doing well and where we need to improve,” says Frank Demizio, Vice President Patient Services and NHS lead for the accreditation process. “This accreditation award is a result of the hard work and dedication that staff and physicians contribute daily in their roles, as well as in preparing for the survey.”
All aspects of Niagara Health were reviewed as part of the survey, including programs and services, patient safety, quality improvement, risk management, leadership, infection prevention and control, and medication management. Niagara Health was compliant in more than 95% of the criteria and submitted action plans to address the remaining areas that need improvement. Shortly after that submission, Accreditation Canada notified the NHS that it is fully accredited until the next review in late 2012.
Accreditation Canada is a not-for-profit, independent organization providing national and international healthcare organizations with an external peer review to assess and improve the services they provide based on standards of excellence.
“Accreditation Canada has approximately 1,060 Canadian clients and only 30% of those clients receive an award of accreditation, so we’re very pleased to have received this award,” Demizio says.
Some of the achievements the surveyors noted include the new hospital and cancer centre development, the integrated quality reporting framework, enhanced medication management processes, enhanced infection prevention/control processes and policies, patient safety leadership walkabouts and strong leadership engagement in financial recovery. Some challenges and opportunities identified include the physical age of NHS infrastructure, implementation of professional staff by-laws, work force plans and enhancing the patient’s role in patient safety.
“I congratulate our board of trustees, staff and physicians who openly and freely participated in the accreditation process,” says Debbie Sevenpifer, President and CEO. “The value of accreditation is both showcasing the things we do well, and also learning from others as to what we can improve upon. We are firmly committed to continuously improving on quality to ensure our programs and services meet the standards.”
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