By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Northumberland Hills Hospital has shared the results of September’s multi-day on-site review by Accreditation Canada surveyors, emerging from the process with an Accreditation With Exemplary Standing rating.
The announcement noted that this designation is the highest award available through the hospital accreditation program.
Accreditation Canada is an independent not-for-profit organization that sets quality and safety standards in health care, and accredits health organizations both in Canada and around the world. They were represented at NHH Sept. 12 to 15 for this voluntary exercise aimed at continuous quality improvement.
Their surveyors met directly with front-line staff, physicians, midwives, patients, caregivers, members of the hospital’s leadership team, volunteer partners (including members of the Board of Directors and the Patient and Family Advisory Council), as well as community partners that represented a broad range of local and regional agencies. The quality and safety of patient-care processes was examined, along with the work-life culture.
NHH met 100% of the Required Organizational Practices set out for hospitals in six safety areas – Safety Culture, Communication, Medication Use, Worklife/Workforce, Infection Control and Risk Assessment. In all, NHH met 99.4% of the applicable 2,316 Accreditation Canada standards (the broader criteria and guidelines required to provide high-quality care and service).
The announcement pointed out particular strengths that were recognized by the Accreditation team. These include the strength of NHH’s community and community partnerships (including, but not limited to, its work with the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland); strong, dedicated leadership; the “compassion, passion and commitment” staff demonstrated in “going above and beyond to support one another and the patients and families seen at NHH;” the high degree of involvement of both the NHH Foundation and Auxiliary throughout the organization; and the high level of satisfaction shown by those experiencing direct patient care.
“This achievement is the result of the hard work and dedication of each and every member of our team, be it staff, physicians, midwives, learners and volunteers, including our Board, Foundation, Auxiliary, and Patient and Family Advisory Council,” President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Walsh listed in the press release, offering heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all.
“Together with our partners, we are united in our commitment to quality and safety in local health-care delivery.”
While generally conducted on a four-year cycle, NHH’s last Accreditation Canada survey dates back to 2017. Delayed for several years by the COVID-19 pandemic, September’s on-site survey was the latest opportunity for the teams throughout NHH to showcase performance against key priority processes, while also highlighting the hospital’s resilience through a period of unprecedented global and local change.
“As we know, Accreditation is not something with a start and a finish – it is a continuous process,” Board Chair Elizabeth Selby commented.
“Quality oversight is at the heart of our Board’s responsibilities, and we applaud the team’s excellent result with the 2022 process.
“As a Board, we see time and time again that this team strives to deliver exceptional patient care every time, but we appreciate no organization can be exceptional all the time – there is always room for improvement and consideration of evolving practices. This latest review has been particularly important for our team, in light of the exceptional strain they have been under in recent years.
“We commend every member of NHH on this result. On behalf of the Board, I thank all those who were part of this important process – including our on-site surveyors, who took time away from their own commitments to thoroughly assess our organization against Accreditation Canada standards.”
The full and final report will be shared on the hospital website in the coming days.