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Tracers during Accreditation

Image of Tracers during Accreditation

January 27, 2023

An on-site Accreditation Canada survey at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) will take place in February 2023. In preparation for the on-site survey, the LHSC Accreditation Team is running tracers to help staff and physicians prepare for the survey. As patients and care partners, you may be asked to participate. Your participation is important in helping identify areas of success and improvement at LHSC.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a collective effort to ensure that we deliver high quality care and safe services for you, our patients, and our staff based on best practices and national standards of excellence. To ensure we are meeting these standards, our facilities are visited by external surveyors from Accreditation Canada during a four-day period. They will ask questions about LHSC’s processes from staff, physicians and patients.

Through continuous improvement activities, we ensure that our actions align to best practices and Accreditation standards.

What are tracers and why are they important?

When Accreditation surveyors come to LHSC they will ask staff and physicians questions about how their work supports the requirements for evaluation. Those surveyors may also ask patients about their health care experiences.

Tracers are a practice opportunity ahead of accreditation for staff and physicians to get comfortable with being asked these questions and responding to them. The feedback we receive from patients during these tracers helps us identify if we are meeting our goals.

What benefit does LHSC get from doing them?

In addition to helping us prepare for Accreditation, tracers help ensure we are working in line with best practices to help optimize patient and staff safety. It’s a great opportunity for shared learning, where people on the unit can share learnings with each other, patients, and care givers. Additionally, it reinforces confidence for staff and physicians. They already know the information, the tracers just help them articulate it.

What can I expect?

During a tracer, Patient Partners will ask if you have a few minutes to discuss Accreditation, and how staff are partnering with patients and families in the provision of care. During this time, you may be asked questions related to your patient experience and safety. Accreditation specialists and/or tracer leads will use an electronic form with pre-selected topics of focus for the tracer. Patient feedback is anonymous and the information collected is used to identify general areas of success and where we need to improve.

Sometimes Accreditation specialists and/or the tracer leads are joined by patient partners who participate in the tracers. The patient partners provide the patient perspective on the topic of the tracer that day. Their feedback helps staff and physicians incorporate the patient perspective into everything they do.

What happens after?

The Accreditation specialist and/or tracer lead will be on the unit asking questions, celebrating the areas of strength and providing in the moment feedback to teams. Following the tracer, the information will be collated and compiled into a document that is sent it to the leader for review identifying successes and areas for improvement.

Where can I get more info?

Visit the Accreditation page if you are interested in learning more about the Accreditation process at LHSC.