January 28 – For a hospital, undergoing an in-depth evaluation by Accreditation Canada means being measured against over 2,100 national standards of excellence for quality and safety in healthcare. It is an intensive and comprehensive process that is challenging during the best of times. Yet Guelph General Hospital (GGH) was surveyed back in September 2021 during the pandemic, and this week it learned the result. GGH has once again been awarded the status of “Accredited with Exemplary Standing,” the highest level of achievement a Canadian healthcare provider can receive from the independent, not-for-profit organization that sets standards for quality and safety in health care.
President and CEO, Marianne Walker, says she couldn’t be prouder. “Despite all of the challenges we face related to the pandemic, our team demonstrated what they do best, which is to provide exemplary care and services. It’s especially meaningful to have this independent validation of our work now during the pandemic when excelling in quality and safety is of the utmost importance.”
She added, “It takes a committed team to provide the quality care for which GGH is known. Everyone plays a part and I am exceptionally grateful to the team for their passion and commitment to GGH, our patients, their families and our community.”
Going into the accreditation process, the hospital developed a slogan around which to rally, “Extraordinary Times, Exceptional Care.” It couldn’t have been more appropriate says Walker. “Our outstanding accreditation award is a tribute to the amazing effort by talented staff, professional staff, volunteers including our engaged Board of Directors and Patient and Family Advisory Council, our Foundation and a hospital-wide team dedicated to delivering the highest quality care and experience for patients and their families.”
With the result came a report from the four-member accrediting team who spent four days at GGH in September. While here, they visited almost every area of the hospital and interviewed staff, patients, families and community partners (other providers of health care services). Some of the report’s highlights include:
- “There was an impressive focus on patient and staff safety as the hospital faced the pandemic.”
- “There was evidence that the ethical framework was properly used when difficult decisions had to me made as the pandemic evolved. Perhaps most importantly the hospital supported congregate settings, assisted with the vaccine roll-out and the establishment of assessment centers which probably limited community spread. The net effect of these efforts was limited morbidity and mortality.”
- “GGH showed leadership prior to the pandemic and was an early advocate for an Ontario Health Team. The trust and collaboration developed through that process was an integral part of an integrated community response to the pandemic.”
A copy of the nine-page Executive Summary of the Accreditation report is available here.