Island Health achieves Accreditation Canada seal of approval

Island Health has been recognized by Accreditation Canada for going beyond nationally recognized standards for excellence in delivering services focused on improving the quality, safety and experience for patients, their families and staff.

“I am so proud of our staff and medical staff who continually strive for learning and improvement,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “Achieving the Accreditation Canada seal means that the patients we serve and their families can be assured that we are working hard to meet our standards of delivering safe, high-quality care, and it validates the excellent work our teams are doing. Being accredited demonstrates our commitment to improving quality, reducing risk and strengthening accountability.” 

Accreditation is a rigorous evaluation process that assesses an organization against global standards of excellence to identify what is being done well and what needs improvement. In November 2022, Accreditation Canada surveyors visited Island Health sites from Victoria to Courtenay to meet with staff and medical staff, patients and their families, volunteers and community partners to gain knowledge of Island Health’s systems of care delivery. 

Surveyors conducted a comprehensive assessment of 18 of Island Health’s programs to identify what is being done well and what can be improved to ensure Island Health is providing the best possible care and services to the patients and clients we serve.

“We are constantly on a quality improvement journey,” said Kathy MacNeil, Island Health President and CEO. “We know better quality means better patient outcomes. The accreditation process is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the high standards we are achieving every day and also to receive feedback on where we should be focusing our efforts for improvement.”

Accreditation is just one milestone in Island Health’s commitment to quality improvement in support of the work that staff and medical staff do every day to provide excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

“We always need to be looking for ways to improve health care, while ensuring that the patient’s needs are met effectively, in a consistent and caring way, without delay,” said Eric Gubby, a Patient Partner who volunteers with Island Health to provide feedback from a patient’s perspective. “I believe that including patients as active participants in health care development is the best way to ensure that our perspective gets factored into the delivery process.  Our participation in the accreditation survey allowed us to provide valuable feedback on our experiences as Patient Partners in interfacing with health-care partners.”

Accreditation is an annual assessment process that evaluates a select number of Island Health programs and services each year. The next visit by Accreditation Canada surveyors will take place in fall 2023 to evaluate acute care programs and services.


Accreditation Canada is an independent organization that assesses health care organizations in Canada and around the world against evidence-based standards. Surveyors review questionnaires and conduct site visits to assess the work environment, leadership, governance functioning and clinical programs and services against other peer organizations in Canada and throughout the world.  

Island Health programs evaluated in 2022 by Accreditation Canada for Service Excellence Standards:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Palliative home care
  • Primary care
  • Long-term care
  • Community-based mental health, including substance-use services

Island Health programs evaluated by Accreditation Canada for System Excellence Standards:

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Medication management
  • Governance standard
  • Leadership (including the following priority processes):
    • Communications
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Patient flow
    • Patient and family-centred care
    • Human capital
    • Integrated quality management
    • Medical devices & equipment
    • Planning and service design
    • Physical environment
    • Principle-based care and decision making
    • Resource management