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Accreditation Canada uses national standards of excellence to enable organizations to improve the quality and safety of their services. The standards are developed through consultation with expert advisory committees and are based on research and leading practice. Standards also go through an evaluation process including on-site pilot evaluation and consultation with the health care organizations.

The Primer standards outline the requirements that organizations will need to meet in order to achieve Primer Accreditation, and focus on the building blocks of quality and safety. They are based on content from the following standards found in Accreditation Canada's Qmentum program.

Leadership standards
Accreditation Canada's Leadership standards help Canadian health care organizations meet demands for excellence in leadership. The standards address leadership functions across and throughout all levels of the organization, rather than individual or position-specific capabilities. They clarify the requirements for effective operational and performance management supports, decision-making structures, and infrastructure needed to drive excellence and quality improvement in health service delivery.

Medication Management standards
Accreditation Canada's Medication Management standards address the safe use and effective management of medication, and are to be used by organizations with or without an on-site pharmacy. The standards emphasize a collaborative approach to prevent and reduce adverse drug events by addressing all aspects of a medication use process, from selection and preparation to administration of the medication and ongoing monitoring of clients.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Standards
The IPAC standards include structure, process, and outcome performance measures to promote assessment of organizational compliance against standards of excellence, Required Organizational Practices (ROPs), and indicators. They are flexible enough to apply to large and complex health systems as well as to small organizations such as those outside acute care including home care, community health, and long term care, and they include the client perspective. Front-line staff and service providers who often carry primary responsibility for preventing and controlling infections may find these standards particularly valuable.

Service Excellence StandardsAccreditation Canada's sector and service-based standards help organizations assess quality at the point of service delivery. They are based upon five key elements of service excellence: clinical leadership, people, process, information, and performance. Service Excellence standards in the Qmentum program include the Long-Term Care Services standards, Home Care Services standards, Aboriginal Substance Misuse Services standards, Aboriginal Community Health and Wellness Services standards, and Emergency Medical Services standards.

The Primer standards are divided into nine sections:

  1. Leadership
  2. Client Safety
  3. Integrated Quality Improvement
  4. Safe and Healthy Worklife
  5. Information Management
  6. Physical Environment and Equipment
  7. Medication Management
  8. Infection Prevention and Control
  9. Safe and Appropriate Service Delivery

There is also service-specific content for organizations providing Aboriginal Community Health and Wellness Services, Aboriginal Substance Misuse Services, Home Care Services, Home Support Services, Long-Term Care Services, Community Based Mental Health Services, Emergency Medical Services, Residential Homes for Seniors,  Primary Care Services, Remote and Isolated Health Services, and/or Public Health Services.

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