Background Recent studies in Canada have identified variation in care delivery for acute and rehabilitation healthcare centres treating patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). The development of standards through an accreditation process ensures patients receive standards that are deemed important for their health condition. Accreditation Canada provides healthcare organisations with a rigorous and comprehensive accreditation process, and fosters quality improvement based on evidence-based standards and external peer review.
Context To develop Accreditation Canada standards for SCI services across the continuum of care and provide an accountability framework to accelerate the implementation of best practices and improve quality of care for people living with SCI.
Description of Best Practice Through a systematic review of literature and best evidence, standards for SCI care were defined for acute care management and rehabilitation. These standards were developed with input from an Advisory Committee with Canadian SCI experts and a web-based national consultation. The standards were piloted in 4 Canadian centres and received positive feedback. Suggestions are being integrated into the standards and in the next five years, the Rick Hansen Institute will work with centres in its network to accredit 50% or 16 centres using these standards.
Lessons for Guideline Developers, Adaptors, Implementers, and/or Users Through providing a framework to evaluate quality and safety, Accreditation Canada and Rick Hansen Institute have an opportunity to improve the dissemination and implementation of best practices in SCI care that could serve as a model internationally.