Extraordinary Result of Extraordinary Effort

For Dr. Jan Christilaw, President of BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, the pursuit of excellence isn’t just a noble aspiration. It’s the driving spirit behind every program, every equipment purchase and every act of care. During their last visit, Accreditation Canada awarded BC Women's a new and unprecedented level of validation for their relentless pursuit of excellence.

Every three years, Accreditation Canada, the national body that evaluates hospitals, sends in a team of three senior health administrators to survey the quality of each hospital’s delivery of care.

During the week of the accreditation team’s visit, BC Women’s was evaluated in hundreds of areas, including operational efficiency, infection control, ethical standards, safety and quality, medication management, and surgical and acute-care processes, to name a few. Within each of these areas are what are called Required Operational Practices. Remarkably, BC Women’s scored 100% in every category – the first-ever Canadian hospital to do so.

“I have never been to an organization where quality and safety were so embedded in the DNA of staff. I have never seen so much commitment, teamwork, passion and innovation. BC Women’s is truly a leader when it comes to women’s, newborn and family care.”  - Accreditation Canada Lead Surveyor

“I think this result reflects our focus on clinical excellence and patient-centred care,” says Christilaw. “We’ve worked hard to ensure that we deliver the very best care we possibly can.”

In her report on BC Women’s, the lead surveyor said, “I have never been to an organization where quality and safety were so embedded in the DNA of staff. I have never seen so much commitment, teamwork, passion and innovation. BC Women’s is truly a leader when it comes to women’s, newborn and family care.”

Christilaw is justifiably proud of her staff’s accomplishment: “The most important thing about accreditation is that it tells the public that we are a hospital where they can expect to get excellent care, and that we are constantly striving to improve it even further. It also gives validation that we are on the right path and that we are doing all the right things to assure that we continue to improve.”

Originally published in the Winter 2013 issue of Women's Magazine.  Free subscription here.

Written by Ann Collette - Photography by Ian Durning