Patient and family centred care movement is firmly entrenched within healthcare. Critical is the recognition of untapped potential within clients and families in advancing quality and safety. When Accreditation Canada embedded specific and targeted client and family-centred care content into their standards, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital set out to not only meet the new standards, but to exceed them. In 2016, 17 family leaders were enlisted to form the Family Leader Accreditation Group (FLAG) and are now partnering with staff on each of the hospital’s six accreditation teams in preparation for the next accreditation survey, scheduled for the fall of 2017. Over the course of our 18 month Accreditation journey, Family Leaders were provided with the skills, training and opportunity to be fully integrated into the accreditation journey. This new innovative model has been integral in ensuring that we not only met the standards newly set out by Accreditation Canada, but advance our already strong partnership in engagement to ensure common understanding. The FLAG structure and process was evaluated using a pre and post evaluation, with a mid-cycle formal survey along with structured monthly check ins. Feedback from members has been consistently positive and there is organizational recognition as to the notable shift in our culture of client and family engagement.

Much of our success in our accreditation journey can be attributed to this model and this is well-recognized throughout the organization, by staff, leadership and family leaders alike. As we plan for the next phase of our accreditation journey our FLAG members will remain a central and necessary component of the preparation and implementation process to drive high quality safe care.

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