Abstract

The Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) accredits hospitals, regional health authorities (RHAs), nursing homes, community health services and other healthcare organizations. The accreditation process is guided by three concepts (CCHSA 2001):
  • Quality improvement.
  • Population health.
  • Indicators and benchmarking.

The inclusion of population health in this process is an important new direction in the Canadian healthcare system. While quality improvement is a concept familiar to most clinicians and administrators, the inclusion of population health may raise some questions:

  • What is "population health"?
  • Should healthcare organizations be responsible for population health?
  • If so, what could they and should they be doing about it?
  • How would a healthcare organization achieve accreditation in population health?