HSO launches standard development Technical Committee on Communication in Health Services

September 29, 2017 (OTTAWA) – Health Standards Organization (HSO) is committed to unleashing the power and potential of people who share our passion for quality health services. Today, HSO announced the members of our first ever standard development technical committee on communication in health services.

HSO’s rigorous standard development process is evidence-informed and consensus-based. It sources the best available evidence, leading expertise, and compelling experiences to create global standards that are applicable to local contexts. The Communication in Health Services Technical Committee is responsible for standards related to effective, open and clear communication in health services delivery.

Communication barriers affect the safety and quality of care that patients receive as well as the ability of the team to provide efficient and cost-effective care. The Technical Committee will begin immediate work on a standard to address communication in minority language situations, focused on Canada’s two official linguistic minorities (English inside Quebec and French in other areas of Canada), reflective of HSO’s partnership with the Société Santé en Français (SSF).

A language minority is a community that uses a language different from the one spoken by the national majority, for example, the Indigenous peoples of Canada, the Basques of Spain or the German-speaking South Tyroleans.

The standard aims to establish safe, high-quality health services and social services across the continuum of care. It will address the necessary organizational structures and processes required at the governance and leadership levels that support and ensure effective communication. This work will serve as a platform for an international standard for use in communities world-wide.

HSO’s historic Technical Committees for standard development establish the highest quality health systems standards because we don’t think anyone should aspire to anything less than the best for their health. People who make up health systems – patients, practitioners, and policy makers – are at the centre of everything HSO does, and at the table as full members of our committees.

Our standards are developed through a participatory and co-creative process in which the voices of patients, community members, families, health service providers, clinicians, and policy makers are heard.

Meet Our Technical Committee Members:

  • Gisèle Lacroix, Alberta Health Services
  • Dounia Najahi, Croire Fund Volunteer
  • Audrey Fournier, La Fédération Franco-ténoise
  • Carmen Millar, Health Access
  • Dr. Aitor Montes Lasarte, OSAKIDETZA-Basque National Health System
  • Grace Eagan, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services
  • Janine Doucet, Centre cardiaque du NB
  • Gayle Lamont, Summerset Manor
  • Dana Mohr, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
  • Tharcisse Ntakibirora, TC-LHIN
  • Angela Sasso, Critical Link International
  • Elizabeth Abraham, WHO Europe
  • Gilles Vienneau , SSMEFNB
  • Dr. Gwerfyl Roberts, School of Healthcare Sciences
  • Dr. Chad Hammond, University of Ottawa
  • Jeanne d’Arc Gaudet, Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-BrunswickQuote:

“I was both delighted and honoured to be invited to co-chair this prestigious HSO Technical Committee. As we find in Wales, delivering accessible, safe, quality healthcare in a bilingual context continues to pose a significant challenge, despite government commitments to bestow official status to minority languages and enact the ‘active offer’ principle. Establishing an evidence-based standard to enhance healthcare communication in a minority language setting will enable providers across Canada to improve service delivery and equity for all. Given the scope to adapt the standard for the broader international community, I am particularly excited to discover how we may reap these benefits in Wales.”

– Dr. Gwerfyl Roberts, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK 

Members of these historic HSO Technical Committees will help drive the standards development process and ensure all that all points of view relating to a new standard or a proposed standard revision are represented. HSO Technical Committees include patients, families, clinicians and policy-makers to build world-leading health standards and assessment programs that enable people in their local jurisdictions save and improve lives. For more information: www.healthstandards.org @HSO_World.