EDITORIAL: Accreditation, advocacy, continued quality improvement will highlight 2018

We’re in a new year, and 2018 is stacking up to a busy one for OMNI Health Care, with a lot going on within the organization and the long-term care sector at large.

First and foremost, 2018 is an accreditation year for OMNI and the organization’s 18 long-term care homes. Starting the first week of March, surveyors from Accreditation Canada will be visiting OMNI homes as we vie for another four-year accreditation.

This is the fourth time OMNI has sought accreditation – a four-year accreditation was granted in 2014, and OMNI and its homes received three-year accreditations in 2008 and 2011.

Accreditation is important because the process shows we have not only met national standards in every area of care delivery, we have exceeded them. That’s something everyone at OMNI can be proud of, and it demonstrates how our quality focus has paid off enormous dividends.

“We are pretty proud of what we do, and we think we are leaders in the sector, so I think demonstrating that to others and getting validation for the successes we have had would be great,” OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says.

OMNI will also be busy helping the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) with its annual Better Seniors’ Care advocacy campaign ahead of the release of the provincial budget in the spring.

As with past years, staff members at OMNI homes as well as residents and their families will be encouraged to write letters to their local MPPs to support more funding to the long-term care sector. This is crucial, as residents’ care needs are rising and homes are facing staff shortages throughout the sector. More long-term care funding will also be pivotal in helping providers across Ontario meet the goal of redeveloping 30,000 beds ahead of the government’s 2025 deadline.

“We have consistently said that we are underfunded in long-term care, so we are really supporting the OLTCA’s budget advocacy because we believe that’s really important,” McCarthy says.

Of course, OMNI will be continuing its focus on quality and continuous quality improvement throughout 2018. This year, the focus will be to continue to embed the notion of quality throughout the organization.

It’s a strategy that has worked well over the past couple of years, and the goal of enhancing quality will never end – the bar just gets set a little higher each year.

“There are always ways to improve, and that’s taking embeddedness up a notch and making sure that it’s really part of everything we do,” McCarthy says.