Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) develop standards that protect the well-being and prosperity of Canadians. As one of 12 SCC-accredited SDOs, Health Standards Organization (HSO) shares how their work supports health system integration across Canada and around the world. This piece appears in the Standards Council of Canada’s 50th anniversary microsite.
At HSO, we know that people want changes that bring them together in new ways to build and support better systems of care – systems that are designed for and with those who need them the most.
Our standard development process is rigorous and inclusive, and includes input from policy-makers, academics, community members, patients and families. We put people first, and use a people-centred approach when it comes to the design of standards and rigorous assessment programs.
HSO’s standards are used in 15,000 locations globally, in 38 countries as well as 13 Canadian provinces and territories.
The Integrated People-Centred Health Systems Standard
This April, HSO released CAN/HSO 76000:2021 – Integrated People-Centred Health Systems (IPCHS), the world’s first standard focused on people-centred, integrated care. This National Standard of Canada aims to help health and social services providers and patients work in alignment towards integrated health systems. By positioning the patient as an equal partner in care and engaging them in shared decision-making, this standard supports patients and families to experience better coordination of care across health and social service settings.
The standard is structured around 10 design principles. These are the essential features that our consensus of experts says need to be in place for any integrated health system.
Each design principle presents a set of criteria with objective requirements to be met, which makes the standard relevant and actionable in the real world. Patient partnership criteria is embedded throughout each design principle, which is consistent with HSO’s approach to all standards and activities.
The 10 Design Principles of Integrated Care
Launch of the Integrated Care Learning Collaborative
In spring 2021, HSO took its commitment to integrated care further and set to close the gap between design and practice. We wanted people to apply the standard to create shared values and vision, and to enable people to move along the continuum at their own pace, in a way that best suits their local context and goals. Along with partners, Health Canada and Frayme, HSO launched the Improving Integrated Care for Youth (IICY) Learning Collaborative, with innovative provincial and community-based integrated youth service networks across Canada.
Each youth service network is working to transform services in their communities by integrating physical health, mental health and social services to improve health and well-being outcomes for youth. Through the Collaborative, organizations are united by a shared purpose to improve mental health and addiction care across Canada, while also partnering with youth and families to co-design quality improvement tools, test those tools in real-life settings and share their learnings.
Canadian Quality and Patient Safety Framework
Moving forward on an integrated approach and a constant focus on patients and families, in fall 2020, HSO partnered with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (now Healthcare Excellence Canada) and other leaders across the country to launch the Canadian Quality and Patient Safety (CQPS) Framework – another first of its kind in Canada.
By aligning Canada on five shared goals for quality improvement and safety, including the delivery of People-Centred Care, Safe Care, Accessible Care, Appropriate Care and Integrated Care, the Framework aims to focus action and resources to improve patient experiences, outcomes and reduce unwarranted care variation. Supported by hundreds of stakeholders across Canada, the new Framework recognizes a need for a greater commitment to quality and safety improvement in health and social services.
Creating Positive Change – Together
Integrated care is an opportunity to reinvent how health and social services teams work together so patients can experience seamless services focused on their health needs and goals. When we include all voices at the table, we can create change that improves the quality of health services for all.
We are proud to collaborate with the SCC and are honoured to be featured as part of their 50th anniversary celebration. Congratulations to the entire SCC team and community!