Carewest is committed to providing an environment that reflects a high quality of care and service for our clients. The organization approaches quality with a framework that builds on three pillars:
- Quality Outcomes that are defined by both best practice as well as client and family experience and expectations
- Quality Assurance efforts to demonstrate our commitment to meet legislation and standards.
- Quality Improvement methods to focus on keeping system and processes reliable and
Quality Outcome focus on performance measurement. At the broadest level, we follow the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) framework to identify measures related to acceptable, assessable, appropriate, efficient, effective and safe. Each program will then identify measures within that framework based on client/resident focus and best practices in that area of focus. For all programs, we identify measures that allow residents and clients to have a voice in identifying how well our services match their expectations for quality care. We also include families, particularly where the family member is relied on to represent their loved one’s needs and preferences.
Through Resident and Family Councils, forums and concerns management, we have opportunities to learn about areas for improvement related to care and service, including ensuring their safety. We also have regular surveys for a more formal process to gather their feedback. See the tabs at the side for most recent results on surveys.
At Carewest, we have a strong focus on monitoring and demonstrating compliance within a highly regulated and safety focused environment of continuing care. As such, safety is integral to the Quality framework. The approach to safety draws on the Vincent Framework that relates to both client and staff safety and outlines core components that align well with quality assurance and quality improvement.
We audit ourselves through many measures to identify whether care is safe today, and processes are reliable and effective. Carewest also receives regular external audits such as the Continuing Care Health Services Standards and Accommodations audits which provide important assessments about how well we meet those standards. We also participate in a regular cycle of Accreditation Canada surveys that has been developed for AHS and its subsidiaries. In the last two clinically focused surveys on Rehabilitation (2016) and Long Term Care (2017), Carewest completed a successful survey with no recommendations for follow-up.
We use outcome measures and quality assurance methods to identify where we can improve and have processes that are reliable and effective. A quality improvement focus also emphasizes teamwork and collaboration to continuously improve and address processes that support both safety and quality. Carewest draws on existing quality improvement philosophies and methods that have been well established for application to healthcare. The organization is committed to ensure leadership and staff have training to apply standard practices to address quality improvement.
Carewest embeds this framework into structure, recognizing that everyone has a role to play with respect to quality. Quality is a key component of the Carewest Strategic plan and a driving force for the annual business planning process in terms of drawing on data (Outcomes, QA and QI) to inform priorities and applying QI tools to facilitate actions to address Business Plan items. Through this framework, we can coordinate and make informed decisions that ultimately support us to provide exceptional care supporting those who need us most.
Integral to both quality and safety is a focus on learning:
- We learn from each other through collaborative teams to improve the client’s care experience and health outcomes
- We learn from our clients and families about how well we are doing and where we can improve,
- We learn from our staff, and from data to assess the effectiveness of processes
- We learn from other organizations through benchmarking and collaboration to address system learning and improved overall quality of care and service.
- We are committed to sharing our results to demonstrate that we are making a difference in the quality of care and service for our clients.