Health Standards Organization (HSO)’s new Diagnostic Imaging Service Standard (HSO 42002:2019) puts the patient’s needs at the centre of services, addressing not only diagnostic needs but also his or her overall well-being, says HSO Technical Committee member Yamama Tamim.
“It’s not just about the diagnostic techniques,” Tamim says. “It’s about patient safety and also, a focus being placed on how providers interact with them. It really keeps this at heart.”
She adds that the new standard will also help providers ensure that they are meeting the needs of patients in a safe and efficient manner.
“We consulted the doctors who require these diagnostics,” Tamim says. “So even before getting down to the procedure level, we are asking how these services should meet the needs of the population?”
This winter, HSO opened a Public Review, which allowed members of the public, service providers and experts to weigh in on proposed changes to the existing Diagnostic Imaging Service Standard.
The new, revised standard promotes an integrated approach to diagnostic imaging, where diagnostic imaging providers work with referring medical professionals to provide the services and to improve them.
The new standard, which will be released in the coming months, is a National Standard of Canada that will be applied around the world.
Tamim, who has many years of experience in health care administration and laboratory diagnostics, is part of HSO’s Diagnostic Imaging Technical Committee, which developed the new standard.
Tamim says that she became interested in standards and quality improvement after encountering a procedural error while working in a laboratory.
“After that occurrence, I worked with the lab to put measures in place for preventative maintenance,” she says. “This is where my journey with quality started.”
She notes that she wanted to join HSO’s Technical Committee to be able to share her own experience and contribute to the creation of the new standard’s requirements.
“I feel that the Technical Committee process is very important because it brings together a broad spectrum of people who have experience working with these services at different levels,” she says.
Tamim adds that the Technical Committee allows everyone to be part of an important conversation; from experts, to providers, to patients.
“You have the point of view of everyone who has to interact with these services. This exchange ensures that no field will be missed during the development of the changes to the standard,” Tamim says.
Tamim notes that her favourite part of being on the committee was being part of this positive, open conversation and constructive exchange process.
“It’s really an exchange with people who have varying levels of experience,” she said. “No one was bulldozed over. It was an opportunity to share.”
Tamim says that she recommends Technical Committee participation to everyone who interacts within the health care sphere.
“It’s a great way to evolve in your career,” she says. “It really teaches you to listen to others and to work towards a goal that does not have to do with your own success, but with that of an entire community.”
Tamim notes that people from all areas of the health care system should get involved in the creation and the review of standards.
“HSO is bringing people together,” Tamim says. “People should participate and provide comments so that everyone’s needs can be represented.”
Tamim adds that the patient’s input and participation in the development of health processes and standards are very important.
She says the patient is the one who actually uses the services and/or processes that are put in place.
“How do you know that all the actions that you’ve put in place are going to change something? The patient can tell you if something is working or if you should try something else,” Tamim says.
Do you want to make a difference and help shape the future of health and social services in Canada and around the world?
If you have significant experience in health or social services, consider joining one of HSO’s Technical Committees.