One Step Closer to Piloting the New Facility Accreditation Model
Accreditation of veterinary facilities is one of the core components of the College’s regulatory functions and is an important part of the College’s overarching quality practice program.
Over the past 30 years, the practice of veterinary medicine has evolved. In 2014, the College sought to renew the approach to facility standards and inspections. This was driven by new practice models and changing services to enhance access and care delivery, and an opportunity to generally enhance standards within veterinary facilities. The profession has also experienced shifts in the mixed practice model – in the past 30 years, species-specific practice has become the norm and now we are starting to see an increased interest in a mixed species model.
Based on work done by the Accreditation Models Task Force and Expert Advisory Group a contemporary model for facility accreditation and a flexible and responsive inspection process have been developed.
New Facility Accreditation Standards
The primary goal of the new Facility Accreditation Standards is to focus on patient and public safety. This means a move away from a checklist style of inspection to an outcomes-based approach in assessing veterinary facilities.
An outcomes-based standard is one where specific outcomes or objectives are to be achieved by the facility. Then the standard defines what is required or necessary to achieve that outcome at the facility level. For example, safe surgery, safe anesthetic procedures, infection control, complete medical records, appropriate access to pharmaceuticals.
The goal is to enhance patient outcomes through compliance with the standards. It will also encourage veterinary teams to establish goals for continuous improvement in the quality and safety of the facility’s operations.
The College Council approved the piloting of the new inspection process and draft facility standards to take place starting January 2021. Piloting of the standards is proposed to take place with voluntary facilities prior to full-scale stakeholder consultation to permit “on the ground” feedback and potential revision.
The pilot will run in two phases over two years. Approximately 50 voluntary facilities will be inspected within the new model each year. After each pilot phase, an evaluation will take place and a report will be provided to the Accreditation Committee and Council, and shared with stakeholders.