TURANGA Health has again earned a big “tick” for the work it does as a leading primary health provider.
Like a voluntary, four-yearly warrant of fitness, EQuIP (Evaluation and Quality Improvement Programme) accreditation is awarded after an intense process of auditing that sees quality manager Shirley Keown – and the rest of the team – come under the microscope.
The Gisborne organisation first went for accreditation in 2007: a decade after its 1997 opening, when it had a kitty of just $300 and a client list of only 10 whanau.
Now, at the age of 21, it has come of age and chief executive Reweti Ropiha says that is reflected in the accreditation process.
“When we first went down this road it was all about the minutiae of working in primary health . . . there was a lot of dotting of 'Is' and crossing of 'Ts',” he says.
“For the last two programmes, though, there has been a definite shift to looking closely at things like strategic planning and examining relationships. They're saying 'we know you can do the day-to-day stuff, now let's go a little deeper'.”
Auditors from Australasian agency DAA spent three days assessing Turanga Health across clinical, support and corporate functions – not just looking at how it looks after whanau today, but also how it is ensuring a strong and sustainable tomorrow.
“It's not just about the services being provided right now,” Mr Ropiha says. “When you are working with Crown dollars you need to show that what you are doing makes your organisation strong going into the future.”
For her part, Ms Keown says that after a near 30-year career in measuring health outcomes, the process is getting easier at Turanga Health, even as the assessment criteria get harder.
“As an organisation we are now doing a lot of this work as we go along so it is more a matter of pulling it together to capture a point in time,” she says. “That is kind of the whole point. It's about validating our systems and processes to reinforce the way Turanga Health goes about fulfiling its purpose.”
And though she is at the sharp end of the assessment process, she likes the auditors' focus on a constant need for organisations to evaluate, evolve and improve.
“So it's not just about doing a great job . . . it's about always looking for ways to make things better for whanau,” she says.
“I think it offers assurance that we are a quality provider that is always striving to give the best quality service.”
– EQuIP (Evaluation and Quality Improvement Programme) is an accreditation programme that addresses the essential elements of quality care.
– Turanga Health first earned accreditation in 2007 and has been successfully assessed every four years since.
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