Conditions attached to hospital accreditation

Whitehorse General Hospital CEO Michael Aeberhardt couldn’t stop smiling. This week, the hospital was accredited for three more years.

Whitehorse General Hospital CEO Michael Aeberhardt couldn’t stop smiling.

This week, the hospital was accredited for three more years.

“That’s the highest standard a hospital can achieve,” said Aeberhardt, during a media briefing on Thursday.

“It’s an affirmation of the level of care we provide here.”

Although largely positive, the accreditation came with some recommendations, he said.

“We have to review policy and corporate objectives,” said Aeberhardt.

He wouldn’t elaborate.

“I am not prepared to go into policies and procedures.”

The hospital also has to provide several reports, the first by Christmas, to maintain its accreditation, he said.

Accreditation can come with conditions, said Liane Craig, director of strategic communications for the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation.

“If the hospital doesn’t comply it means it could be jeopardizing its accreditation status.”

Accreditation reports are usually public documents, added Craig.

But it’s up to the hospital, she said.

Whitehorse General has decided not to make its accreditation report public, said Aeberhardt.

The accreditation process looks at the whole spectrum of services and care at the hospital, said Craig.

“But, basically, we want to make sure the board and the people who govern the organization are effectively communicating with the staff.”

Aeberhardt wouldn’t comment on the recent upheavals at the hospital.

The hospital board’s new task force, created to address the conflicts arising between staff and the CEO, will be looking at operational issues, said Aeberhardt.

But the accreditation process is much broader, he said.

“The task force will augment the accreditation report.”

The accreditation process is voluntary, added Aeberhardt.

“And having an organization that wants to be accredited speaks to their commitment to quality patient care.”

“Most hospitals seeking accreditation succeed in achieving enhanced quality and ensuring they’re offering safe service to people,” said Craig.

“There’s not a high per cent that are not successful.”

It’s like summer school, she said.

“We try to guide our clients so they get it right. Not so much to get the grade, but so they really understand it.

“It’s important to understand where their weaknesses are and what they have to work on.”

“It’s the relentless pursuit of perfection,” said Aeberhardt.