We first published the BC Health Quality Matrix in 2009 to set a shared understanding of quality for British Columbia’s health care system. Today, we’re excited to release the updated BC Health Quality Matrix which establishes a more inclusive and strengthened definition of health care quality to enable better care experiences for everyone in the province.
The updates ensure British Columbia’s vision of high-quality care aligns with the latest evidence and honours the history and teachings of Indigenous Peoples in the province. They emphasize the link between quality and the social determinants of health, stress the importance of the early years of life as integral to health, and align with the health care system’s focus on promoting wellness.
The Matrix takes a world-leading approach in embedding Indigenous perspectives on health and wellness, and shows what is possible when Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews are welcomed. This inclusion represents action on numerous recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada that align with the health care system’s work. It also helps advance the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We’d like to thank the First Nations Health Authority for partnering with us on this project as well as the numerous community members and 30+ organizations who provided valuable insights.
What Are the Updates?
Quality is defined by seven dimensions that span the full continuum of care, which is distinguished between five Areas of Care. Updates include:
- The Respect dimension (previously named Acceptability) now clearly honours a person’s choices, needs and values.
- The Safety dimension now includes fostering security and trust, in addition to avoiding harm.
- The Equity dimension now recognizes that providing equitable care requires understanding and accepting differences in people’s histories and experiences.
- A new Area of Care – Optimizing the Early Years – was created to account for the critical role of the early years of life.
Throughout the Matrix, the concept of health quality has been broadened to include health and wellness, and focus has been placed on the whole person. Additionally, the idea of care as relational has been strengthened, and core values of cultural safety and humility as well as person- and family-centred care have been enhanced.
BC’s Shared Definition of Quality
A single, shared definition of quality impacts how those within the health care system, including British Columbia’s health authorities, health care organizations and Ministry of Health, set priorities and care for people. That means all health and wellness services, anywhere in the province, have a consistent foundation from which to support people and their communities to thrive.