NSHA recognized for five leading practices by National Health Standards Organization

NSHA By The Numbers.

Accreditation is an ongoing process of assessing health care and social services organizations against standards of excellence to identify what is being done well and what needs to be improved. In 2016, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) began its first province-wide accreditation after transitioning from nine district health authorities into one.

Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that has been Canada’s trusted accreditor for more than 55 years. Accreditation is a four-year cycle that includes the following assessments:

• Organization assesses itself against Accreditation Canada standards.
• Organization uses the self-assessment, survey (instrument) results, standards and required organizational practices (ROPs) to identify areas that need work, and to plan quality improvement activities to address those needs over the coming months.
• On-site survey conducted by trained peer surveyors who assess against national standards.
• Surveyors submit a preliminary report.
• Accreditation Canada examines the report and provides the organization with a final decision and report based on the on-site survey.

NSHA completed our first self-assessment in 2016. This included a patient safety culture (PSC) survey and worklife pulse (WLP) survey. Overall, 4,620 PSC surveys were completed along with 5,382 WLP surveys by staff and 468 Work Life Pulse surveys by physicians.

NSHA’s first onsite survey was conducted in October 2017. A team of 30 surveyors and one patient surveyor from Accreditation Canada visited 53 sites to assess the organization on 28 evidence-based, system-wide and service excellence standard sets.

Surveyors reviewed 4,014 quality and safety criteria in areas ranging from governance and leadership to risk management, infection prevention and control, and medication management.

NSHA met 92.9 per cent of the criteria and was granted “accredited with report” status.

NSHA submitted follow-up reports to Accreditation Canada in April and October 2018 with information on a number of Required Organizational Practices and High Priority Criteria.

NSHA was recognized for five leading practices by the National Health Standards Organization, which is affiliated with Accreditation Canada. The teams/projects recognized were:

1. A standardized, multi-disciplinary approach to improve identification, prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers at Dartmouth General Hospital
2. A client-centred waitlist management model for ambulatory care which gives patients faster access and more choice and flexibility in scheduling.
3. An ambulatory medication reconciliation process to enhance patient safety for renal patients.
4. A Seniors LINCS walk and roll program which provides opportunities for frail seniors to exercise safely.
5. Our Patient Stories initiative, which provides staff with access to patient stories in audio as a learning tool.

In November 2018, Accreditation Canada confirmed that all follow-up requirements had been met and NSHA will maintain "accredited" status until the time of the next survey visit, currently scheduled for October 2021.

Read NSHA president and CEO Janet Knox's opening remarks from the provincial Standing Committee on Health held Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Province House in Halifax.

Read the full Accreditation Canada report for Nova Scotia Health Authority.