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Points West Living communities awarded
CARF accreditation

January 9th, 2019

Every Points West Living community is now accredited by CARF (the international Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), under the umbrella of Connecting Care’s network of communities. CARF is the longest running accreditation system for continuing care retirement communities in Canada.

Very impressed

Stephanie Miller, Director of Innovation and Creativity for PWL-Connecting Care, headed up the team preparing for the CARF audit. “Our team has been working on this initiative for three years,” she says, “bringing together evidence to present to the CARF surveyors. They came to Edmonton in early November and reviewed our processes and culture for aging services. They were very impressed, and awarded us a 3-year accreditation, effective January 7, 2019.”

They looked at everything

The auditors examined every aspect of culture and operations – from the environment, to financial management, to health and safety, to menus. “They looked at everything,” says Stephanie. “Of course they have given us some recommendations; some of which we may already have in place but just need to produce the evidence to show it, and others that we will address in the coming months.”

Stories had a big impact

One of the most compelling factors CARF surveyors considered was the human perspective. The surveyors interviewed some Board members, General Managers, residents, and family members from various communities by phone. Those conversations put into life what we say we do on paper. Their stories had a big and meaningful impact.”

Benefits of accreditation

On its website, CARF says: Accreditation is evidence to consumers that an organization is committed to encouraging feedback, continuously improving services, and serving the community… (and, it is evidence that the) organization strives to improve efficiency, fiscal health, and service delivery – creating a foundation for continuous quality improvement and consumer satisfaction.

Keeping us on our toes…

Stephanie says, “Accreditation benefits us by requiring more structured processes when it comes to improvement. Setting performance measures will help us focus and measure what we do.”

“The first survey is always the hardest,” says Stephanie, adding that in 2019 the focus will be on addressing the auditors’ recommendations, and starting in 2020, the preparation process will begin for the 2021 three-year accreditation renewal.

Photo: The Accreditation team shows off the CARF Certificate of Accreditation; (from left) Paul Melanson (VP of Human Resources & Administration), Amanda Bicknell (Controller), Stephanie Miller, Mary Lou Duncan (Community Mentor), Wanda Sullivan (Public Housing Not for Profit Mentor), Ginger Bitzer (Human Resources Manager), Elithea DeVilliers (Director of Health Services), Karen Boyer (Community Mentor), and Georg Rath (COO). Missing from photo: Tamsin Tough (Operations Standards Manager), Kallie Dahl (Executive Assistant), Doug Mills (CEO), and Kate Hendsbee (Quality Assurance Auditor).

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