MS Ireland Care Centre

Developing a Quality and Safety Management System (QSMS) with MS Ireland Care Centre

The MS Care Centre is Ireland’s only dedicated respite and therapy centre for people with Multiple Sclerosis. It offers short-term respite care, therapeutic services, neurological assessments and many social activities in a homely environment.  In June 2011 they received CHKS accreditation of their Quality & Safety Management System (QSMS).  This development was supported by Health Care Informed (HCI).
MS Care Centre was aware that their systems and processes were not formalised and that there was a lack of accountability. They established the need to look at processes in terms of best practice.  They also decided that the organisation would benefit from receiving formal accreditation.  ‘We were aware that our systems and processes were not ideal.  We were very good at person centred care but perhaps not the systems supporting it’ explains Margaret Maguire, Clinical Care Manager at the MS Care Centre.
‘After examining a number of providers that could help us develop a Quality & Safety Management System (QSMS) and achieve accreditation we decided on Health Care Informed (HCI).  Their experience of helping other organisations achieve accreditation, the team of people they had and the attitude they took to the project were all deciding factors.  We had confidence in them that they would be able to see us through to accreditation.  HCI were also familiar with the HIQA Disability Standards which we wanted incorporated in to our QSMS.’
‘With the help of HCI we identified CHKS as having the best accreditation programme and standards that were most applicable to our needs.’ 
 ‘The development of the QSMS began with process mapping and identifying the gaps in our current system.  The Gap Analysis identified specific issues that needed to be improved in the areas of Governance, Process Development, Care Planning, Internal Audits and Record Management.  The outcome of the Gap Analysis was a focused action plan which allowed us to see clearly what needed to be done.  We could then allocate time, resources and responsibility to each action.  Receiving buy in from staff, making them understand the importance of it from a legislative & statutory prospective was key.  This was overcome by involving all staff in the project, we divided everyone into groups and gave them a specialist area to look at.’
 ‘Right through the development of the QSMS HCI were invaluable to us, they were vital in developing new policies, they kept structure on the project and set timelines.  They were completely familiar with the accreditation process and were expert in their knowledge of developing a QSMS They didn’t just advise, but rolled up their sleeves to help us get the work done.’
 ‘Developing a QSMS has facilitated real change in the centre, it is a powerful tool in getting things done.  Staff awareness of quality and health & safety has hugely improved, it continues to make people think and there are actions that everyone has to carry out.  Quality of healthcare for residents have improved, our systems and processes are now formalised.’ 
Margaret concludes: ‘The entire process generated a renewed synergy within the core team and helped to establish a platform for managing the service going forward. Having received CHKS accreditation in June 2011, our challenge now lies in maintaining the high standard of quality that we have achieved.  The yearly audits from CHKS will keep us focused, sustaining our standards and developing a culture of continuous improvement. We will also continue to use HCI to provide support & knowledge to us on any changes in healthcare regulation.’