We are doing everything possible to ensure that best practices for patient safety are followed.
(PRWEB) March 9, 2011
The plight of the Ohio couple that was implanted with the wrong embryos during an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, and the case of a Canadian fertility doctor that allegedly used the wrong sperm samples have experts in the field calling for tighter regulations regarding assisted reproductive technology policies and procedures.
However, the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision stating that fertility regulation is under provincial jurisdiction has put the development of national standards for reproductive technology in limbo. This leaves it up to the consumer to determine if the IVF clinic they are considering has adequate procedures in place to prevent mix-ups.
Genesis Fertility Centre, BC's largest IVF clinic (http://www.genesis-fertility.com) is not waiting for legislation to ensure that it meets standards of excellence. Genesis was the first Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) clinic in Canada to receive accreditation by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, now known as Accreditation Canada (AC). Genesis is the only ART clinic in British Columbia and one of a handful of clinics in Canada that have undergone this rigorous, voluntary accreditation process. AC accredits over 1500 hospitals, mental health/chronic care and, most recently, Assisted Reproductive Technology facilities across Canada.
In our current health-care environment, patient safety is paramount. "We are doing everything possible to ensure that best practices for patient safety are followed." says Dr. Beth Taylor, Co-director at Genesis Fertility Center, "In 2010 we underwent our third extensive accreditation inspection through AC, which involves everything from ensuring the clinic is properly sterilizing equipment, to measures for maintaining patient confidentiality, to rigorous checks and balances around the preservation and identification of embryos, and numerous other patient safety issues. We have recently been notified that we have received full accreditation for another 3 years.
According to the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC) website, "The Accreditation Canada survey is a remarkably thorough and in-depth process which takes three days to complete." (IAAC)
It is a rigorous and expensive procedure, but one that we found invaluable for the clinic." states Dr. Taylor. "We would recommend it for every IVF clinic. It is a very effective way for clinics to assess their services and initiate a program of continuous quality improvement. Most importantly, for patients, once a clinic is accredited, they can feel confident that it has both met and exceeded stringent standards."
Doctor Ellen Greenblatt, former National Director -- and a current member -- of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, recommends that couples seeking IVF should ask prospective IVF clinics these questions:
- How long has the clinic been in operation?
- What is the volume of services they do?
- Do they have accreditation as a fertility clinic?
In BC all IVF clinics are licenced by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, "...but this licensing only ensures that minimum standards of patient care and practice are met," says Dr. Taylor. "The AC designation demonstrates that the IVF clinic is following best practices across numerous domains." Licensure of IVF clinics in Quebec falls under provincial jurisdiction, but a requirement for licensure in that province also requires accreditation by an organization such as AC. Genesis would like to see similar requirements in BC.
Accreditation Canada is a not-for-profit, independent organization that provides health organizations with an external peer review to assess the quality of their services based on standards of excellence.
Genesis Fertility Centre was founded in 1995 and is now one of the largest IVF clinics in Canada, offering a comprehensive range of assisted reproductive technologies, including IUI, IVF, ICSI, PGD, surgical sperm retrieval, sperm and oocyte (egg) cryopreservation, oocyte and sperm donation, gestational surrogacy.