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WRHA receives accreditation

Accreditation Canada results underscore effort to provide quality health care

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BY MIKE DALY
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Published Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has met the requirements necessary to maintain its accreditation for the next four years, according to the organization responsible for assessing health-care facilities across the country.

In April, surveyors from Accreditation Canada visited 56 Region sites as part of an effort to assess the organization’s performance against national standards of excellence.

Late last month, Accreditation Canada released a 190 page report suggesting the Region performed well in a number of program and service areas.

For example, in the section providing an overview on standards, which deals with practices and policies that contribute to high quality, safe and effectively managed care, the Region met 94.4 per cent of the more than 4,500 criteria used to assess its performance.

The report also shows that 27 of 33 program areas surveyed for this section met at least 90 per cent of the total criteria (high priority and other criteria) set by Accreditation Canada. That includes 19 program areas that met at least 95 per cent of the total criteria and three that met 100 per cent.

Worth noting is that seven of these program areas met 100 per cent of requirements in the high priority criteria. They are governance, population health and wellness, mental health services, obstetrics services, organ and tissue transplant standards, spinal cord injury acute services, and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. 

Milton Sussman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Region, says that he is pleased with Accreditation Canada’s report.

“The results reflect well on the ongoing dedication and effort of our staff in support of our mission to deliver quality, caring services that promote health and well-being,” says Sussman. “This was the first year Accreditation Canada undertook a truly regional overview of our operations, and we’re delighted to have performed as well as we did. This year’s results will serve as a solid baseline for ongoing measurement in the years to come.”

Jason Klainchar, Director of Operations for the Region’s Quality Improvement and Patient Safety program, says the accreditation process plays an essential role in helping the WRHA enhance the delivery of care.

“By providing us with an independent view of how well we meet national standards of excellence, the accreditation process helps us identify strengths and areas of improvement so that we can provide the best possible care and service to our patients and clients.”

The final report refers to the good work being done in a number of areas.

For example, the surveyors singled out the Region’s efforts to promote health equity, an initiative designed to ensure everyone in the community has the chance to reach their full potential for health. The report notes that the newly released 2016-2021 strategic plan emphasizes the importance of healthy equity, adding that efforts to educate staff about the issue and build partnerships to end homelessness have been undertaken.

“The dedicated and committed staff are (to be) congratulated on the work that has been done to date in positioning the region to move forward with this strategic direction,” notes the report.

The Region’s ongoing commitment to community partnerships, including its longstanding relationship with the University of Manitoba, was also singled out.

“(The Region) has an excellent relationship and partnership with the University of Manitoba on matters related to collaboration on innovation, knowledge translation, and research on health-related quality improvement topics.”

Surveyors also used the report to acknowledge the ongoing efforts made by the Region to incorporate feedback from the community – including its Family Advisory Councils and Local Health Improvement Groups – into its decision-making processes.

“These groups are valued and their input has been consistently sought for strategic planning and policy reviews,” the Accreditation Canada report says.

While there was much that was positive, surveyors also identified areas where improvement was needed.  

In a section dealing with patient flow, for example, surveyors noted that, “Timely access to care at the site and region level is still an issue at all levels of care in the (emergency department).”

Other suggested areas for improvement include financial stability and infrastructure – items that are already on the Region’s list of priorities.

“The areas cited for improvement are known challenges within the health-care system as a whole, and are central to our efforts going forward,” says Sussman. “Improving patient flow and effectively managing our available resources were identified as key operational imperatives in our 2016-2021 strategic plan, and efforts to develop the action plans necessary to meet those challenges are already well underway.”

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