Horizon Health Network (Horizon) uses a Standards Model, which is based on a Structure – Process – Outcome framework, to facilitate standardized care, clinical practice, and services across the health authority. The process brings clinicians and front line service delivery staff from multiple sites together to discuss debate and review the relevant / current literature, best practices and processes of care related to a specific patient / client population. A working group selected by the Clinical Network or service (a regional patient care team responsible for a specific patient population, for example Surgery, Oncology, Palliative Care etc.) collaborate to produce a standards document which articulates the basic and essential expectations for care and services. The process is responsive to each working group’s needs, stage of consensus, and expectations. Horizon Standards are meant to be dynamic, responding in a timely manner to changes in practice and services. Networks are supported in making revisions to their standards as processes and practices change. Each Standards document is formally reviewed and revised every 3 years. The process builds upon the methods promoted by Accreditation Canada to provide a context for integrating multiple standards, best practices and clinical practice guidelines. Horizon Standards directly support an ongoing process of improvement within the organization. The interdisciplinary, collaborative process is: – linked to organizational strategic directions / goals, – defines and links the service’s goals and objectives to process standards, outcomes and their measurement strategy, – defines specific processes that address the relevant Accreditation Standards, – provides a forum for transparency and understanding of team roles and responsibilities and team functioning, – establishes interprofessional communication on service delivery and standards of practice, – identifies areas of excellence and opportunities for improvement, and – supports spread of best practices and lessons learned. All Horizon Standards documents are linked to the Accreditation standards relevant to the patient population or service. Accreditation Canada standards guide the topics for discussion and help keep the working group on topic and on task. Our Horizon Standards establish very specific basic expectations for care and services for a patient population; they operationalize the more general Accreditation Canada Standards and bring together standards and best practices from a variety of available sources. Because the available body of knowledge is often conflicting, our process supports the patient care / project teams to clarify expectations for clinical staff at the front lines and define clearly what clients / patients can expect. The result is consistency and reliability of care across sites and a foundation for the local area care team to identify focused areas for actionable improvement.
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