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SHS LogoThe Philosophy of listening, learning, collaborating
growing, improving and sharing.
And doing it all over again. AKA…

Performance and Quality Improvement

Semiahmoo House Society exists for one reason, and that is to improve the quality of lives of people with disabilities. This includes things that we all take for granted like exercising our rights, being included in our neighbourhoods and workplaces, having opportunities to learn and work and have fun, and the freedom to choose our own style, friends, roommates, activities and religion.

The thing is that this is a journey that is always changing and growing as society itself grows and changes. Forty years ago, children with disabilities were called “retarded”, taken from their mothers, and lived their lives in huge buildings full of other people that weren’t “normal”. Society thought this was the right thing to do. We all know and believe differently now, and even though we are proud of our work to improve people’s rights, choices, quality of life, and inclusion in their communities, we also acknowledge that what we do and believe today will also change. This evolution and improvement in community acceptance, empowerment, and inclusion for people with disabilities is the premise of “Performance and Quality Improvement”.

In essence, we’re all here to make things better. The PQI process is about understanding how that happens, and how YOU are a part of it all. Performance and Quality Improvement is a continuous and evolving process of…

  • gathering information and analyzing it
  • figuring out what changes are needed to make things better,
  • recommending and implementing changes,
  • communicating about it, and
  • analyzing its effects (Did it make things better?) 

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Making things better is not the responsibility of a “PQI Committee” at Semiahmoo House; rather, the responsibilities of “PQI” are shared throughout the organization and are engrained into every process, policy, and change we make. PQI is headed by the Quality Assurance Director, a position created specifically with the intention of nurturing a culture of quality and improvement at SHS in 2007.

Management, contractors, front-line staff from every stream of service (group homes, outreach, day programs, and vocational services), people we support, board members, funders, donors, volunteers, and the broader community are all involved in and contribute to providing feedback, making recommendations for growth, and/or sitting on project teams or committees.

YOU can contribute in lots of different ways:

  • Complete the survey we send out every year
  • Put your ideas into the virtual Suggestion Box (on our website & on Sharevision)
  • Bring your concerns and ideas to your team meetings, your manager, or any director
  • QI TeamJoin a committee or work group such as Occupational Health & Safety, Respectful Workplaces, Restorative Justice, Person-Centered Thinking Coaches, Mandt Trainers, Technology, etc. Involvement doesn’t need to be a forever commitment. Many work groups pop up to address a particular issue, and dissolve once the improvement has been made. It’s more about diving in to whatever your interests and expertise are.
  • Participate in our Self-Advocates Committee if you’re someone we support
  • Participate in our Family Access Network if you’re a family member of someone with a disability
  • Participate in our focus groups, pop-up surveys, feedback evenings, and events
  • Follow up. Let us know how the efforts to improve have worked out.
  • Volunteer on the Board of Directors (if you’re not a staff person)
  • Take part in Planning Events… creative “PATH” days and focused Strategic Planning events are great ways to help build programs and services.

Where does our DATA come from to recommend changes?

Semiahmoo House Society analyzes all sorts of information to figure out what we may need to improve upon. We get formalized audits and reviews of our services, we analyze results from hundreds of surveys from people we support, staff, and the community, and look for patterns in our internal documentation such as incident reports or staff injury reports.

Large-Scale Formalized Audits:

Annual Financial Audit – a full review of our financial position

Accreditation – Full review of all services, programs, management practices, ethics, and governance. Semiahmoo House is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). Every 4 years with annual maintenance reporting

Quality of Life Initiative – In-depth interviews and analysis of people’s quality of lives (as defined by people on their own terms) by a third party, funded by CLBC.


Surveys for the people we support, their families and the community, suggestion boxes, website virtual suggestion box, social media (Facebook and Twitter), employee satisfaction surveys, committees, Self-Advocates Committee, etc. (See “You can contribute…” above.)

Looking at patterns in reporting:

Are there patterns if we really analyze documentation and reporting? We look at summarized reports for things like…

  • Staff accidents and injuries
  • Critical incident reports for the people we support
  • Grievances from staff and Complaints from families and the broader community
  • Medication errors
  • File Reviews for the people we support (Are all signatures up to date? Is writing thorough & respectful? Is information current? Does everyone have a Support Plan?)

Need more information? Check out our Policy “Performance and Quality Improvement”.

Or contact: Casandra Fletcher, Director for Quality Assurance and I.T.  604-536-1242 ext. 250

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