Leaders’ Perspectives on Accountability for Quality

Introductory comments by Terry Sullivan, CEO Forum Chair and EXTRA Academic Coordinator

To stimulate dialogue at the CEO Forum, we asked five leaders from across Canada to comment on accountability for quality in healthcare.

They kindly obliged.

So what do these leaders tell us?

They discuss how healthcare organizations can drive toward improvement through capacity building and by promoting public and clinical accountability for quality. They point to patients as largely unexploited assets in the push to create better quality care. However, they also recognize that the accountability of the institutional leader is unavoidable—the bright light of accountability sits squarely with CEOs, in conjunction with their executive teams, governance bodies and partners in the provision of care. In addition, these five leaders make the case that they need support to accelerate improvements in our delivery system—whether that support is local, regional or national.

A special thanks to Roger Collier who conducted the interviews and prepared the articles.


Dennis Kendel, Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
» Interview

"It’s pretty hard to force people to really generate quality care. They have to have a commitment to it and, fortunately, most do."

Dianne Doyle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Providence Health Care, Vancouver, British Columbia
» Interview

"When it comes to involving patients in quality improvement, the healthcare profession still has much to learn."

Micheline Ste-Marie, Associate Director of Professional Services, Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Centre and President, Groupe Vigilance pour la
sécurité des soins
» Interview

"To improve quality and to make patient care safer, you have to have systems in place to help. You need technology and informatics."

Paula Blackstien-Hirsch, Executive Director, Centre for Healthcare Quality Improvement
» Interview

"A healthcare institution with dozens of quality improvement priorities is most likely an organization with no priorities."

Donald Ferguson, Deputy Minister of the Department of Health, Government of 
New Brunswick
» Interview

"Rather than saying it’s about blame, we should look at it as being about what we can do to improve quality and improve the healthcare system."