Accreditation Canada commends IWK

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In early May eight surveyors from Accreditation Canada were onsite at the IWK to look at 27 priority processes across the health centre’s seven locations. When their work was complete they were pleased to announce that the IWK was Accredited with Commendation and had met 98.72 per cent of the 2,969 standards reviewed.

“If we talked only about strengths, we’d be here all day,” says Andrew Williams, lead, Accreditation Surveyor.

Accreditation Canada is the major national accrediting body for health services organizations across Canada.  Started in 1958, the independent non-profit helps organizations examine and improve the quality of the care and services they provide to their communities. Participation is voluntary and conducted every four years.

“Accreditation provides us with the opportunity to be evaluated using nationally accepted standards of excellence,” says Dr. Krista Jangaard, President and CEO of the IWK Health Centre. “Embracing the philosophy of high reliability we can now add this information to our continuous improvement journey striving to further improve the care we provide to our patients, families and community.”

Surveyors applauded the IWK for strengths right across the organization in areas such as patient and family centredness, collaboration, safety, improvement work and LEAN efforts, communication and enthusiasm.

Surveyor Dr. Adrienne Zarem was tasked with the people priority process.

“It was lovely to sit with patient and family partners and learn about their experience working with the industrial engineers,” says Zarem. “They were a bit skeptical when they sat down with those professionals about how this was going to create change, and then so incredibly wowed by the amount of impact that kind of collaboration could have.”

Surveyor Eleanor Rivoire, was impressed by ethics at the IWK.

“It’s very clear that [there is] a mindset of ‘every day ethics’ and I love the coining of that term,” Rivoire says. “It is truly in the fabric and DNA of the organization.”

The accreditation process has a significant focus on patient safety and there are 31 required organizational practices which the IWK must comply with in order to achieve accreditation status.

“You’ve got a patient safety culture that’s running rampant through your organization,” says surveyor Ken Wou.

Accreditation Canada’s program is recognized by provincial and federal funders of health services.  The IWK Health Centre (formerly IWK and Grace Maternity Hospitals) took part in accreditation even before Accreditation Canada was established.

“Please continue to push the envelope,” says Williams. “Continue to get better. We wish you every success.”