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Exercising Our Values through Accreditation


In June 2012, CONNECT Communities will go through the final process to become a fully accredited organization through Accreditation Canada. Accreditation Canada is a not-for-profit, independent organization that provides health organizations with an external peer review to assess the quality of their services based on standards of excellence. Accreditation offers regular, consistent ways of examining and improving the quality of our services through on-site peer reviews and surveys by peer surveyors.

We’ve had lots of questions about why we have chosen to go through this process and how it will change what we do here at CONNECT. Perhaps the best way to look at answering those questions is to reflect on our 6 values (Passion; Learning; Creativity; Respect; Flexibility and Joy) and what we see in the future of our organization.

PASSION is valued at CONNECT. We are passionate about transforming the way people with brain injuries are served. We know that we all want the same things: lives filled with opportunities, possibilities and choices. Accreditation provides us with opportunity to examine our services and celebrate what we do well and target areas we want to improve. It helps us plan the future and demonstrates our commitment to quality services.

Creating a culture of LEARNING is valued at CONNECT. One of our core beliefs is that the person with brain injury is the expert in his/her own life and that services and supports should recognize that expertise.  We learn from the people we serve. We believe people thrive best in a culture of learning. Each of us holds our own answers and solutions and will share them if given the chance. We continue to build expertise in a coaching model that is based on the belief that “people are naturally creative, resourceful, whole and wise.” (The Co-Active Model). The Accreditation standards raise the bar for a quality service experience. In addition to ensuring safe, effective practices, Accreditation also highlights leading practices and innovations, provides a forum for knowledge exchange and ensures a standard of quality improvement.

CREATIVITY can be challenging when working within health care systems. Accreditation challenges us to create an environment of safety within the culture of freedom, choice and smart risk-taking to which we are committed. As an accredited organization, we have the opportunity to show consumers that we understand safety, best practices and evidence-based services but also choose to create a different service that recognizes the person with brain injury as the expert with his/her own answers and solutions

RESPECT. Such an important value to us all. Our staff surveys highlighted the importance of communication as a priority. The Accreditation standards focus on improved communication throughout the organization and involve all staff in decision-making. The Accreditation process fosters an atmosphere of teamwork that includes residents and families and acknowledges the value of input from everyone involved in the experience of brain injury. Our coaching model creates respectful interactions that are based in listening and questioning from a place of curiosity and focuses on the whole person.

FLEXIBILITY serves us well as a value. If we truly believe that the person with the brain injury is the expert in what he/she needs and wants in life, then we have to be flexible. We have to know what’s important and stay focused on that. The Accreditation process creates opportunities for us to examine and prioritize what’s important to us as an organization committed to transforming the way people with brain injuries are served

JOY! It will be a joyous day when people with brain injuries are living lives filled with opportunities, possibilities, smart risk-taking and choice. Accreditation is just one of the tools we think will help us get there. Find JOY is every day.