Accreditation Canada announced this month that it has granted “Accreditation with Exemplary Status” to our Health Department. Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that sets standards for quality and safety in health care and accredits health organizations in Canada and around the world.

Accreditation is an approach used by many health care and social services organizations. Accreditation Canada is designed to improve client outcomes and health system performance. It helps the entire organization work together to create a focus on safety and quality.

The decision is the highest of four possible accreditation awards following a rigorous process conducted over the last two years.

The process is an ongoing one. Organizations use the Accreditation program to identify what they do well and where they could do better, and make improvements based on the results. Peer reviewers, called surveyors, visit the organization every four years to evaluate the extent to which it is meeting the standards, share their expertise, and make recommendations.

Accreditation Canada then evaluates the results of the peer review to determine whether the organization will be accredited, and provides an accreditation report that identifies strengths and areas for improvement. The organization uses the report to create and implement action plans, continuing the cycle of ongoing quality improvement.