Pulmonary function

Pulmonary function tests measure how well the lungs work and are used to help diagnose respiratory conditions. A facility may include various types of pulmonary function tests depending on its size.

Why we accredit facilities

Accreditation ensures quality, competence and safety through conformance to an acknowledged standard. Accreditation can lead to improved quality of service. It also provides formal recognition that the facility meets industry best practices.

Regulatory accreditation body

The DAP is the regulatory accreditation body for pulmonary function services in BC. We ensure availability of accreditation services to all diagnostic facilities and apply all policies and procedures in a non-discriminatory manner.

The DAP does not:

  • provide competing services
  • offer consultancy services
Accreditation scheme

The accreditation scheme employs program specific standards developed by the DAP using international best practices and expert consensus through the program’s advisory committees. Staff and peer assessors with appropriate knowledge of the scope of accreditation are chosen to assess the diagnostic facility to the DAP standards.

Diagnostic facilities may not operate without an accreditation award

An accreditation agreement stating the terms of accreditation must be signed by the diagnostic service medical director as part of each assessment and when there is a change of diagnostic service medical director. The accreditation agreement explicitly states the College’s expectations of the medical director within the College Bylaws.

Initial assessments

Facilities require provisional accreditation prior to opening and operating in BC. The provisional accreditation certificate is valid for up to two years. The DAP will reassess the diagnostic service to the full set of applicable standards within one year of the initial assessment.

Full assessments

Diagnostic facilities accredited by the DAP will have an on-site assessment conducted every four years.

Relocation assessments

Accreditation is only valid for the location (physical address) assessed. Relocation of a facility requires application for a relocation assessment. The existing accreditation award is transferred to the new physical address when the assessment standards are successfully met.

Hybrid (peer and staff-based) assessment methodology

What assessors do

The use of system and patient tracers allows the diagnostic service’s performance to be assessed as staff conducts their daily work.

The assessors are required to observe and assess the full scope of service that occurs at the facility, including all modalities.

The assessors follow specific assessment protocols that direct their assessment activities. The protocols provide direction to the assessors by outlining what to ask, observe and assess. The use of protocols also assists to increase the objectivity and consistency among assessors. It allows for comments, observations and recommendations to be recorded.

Collaborative assessment model

A collaborative assessment model will be used where facilities have common medical and administrative leadership, including:

  • oversight of the quality manual
  • safety program, human resource management
  • quality management system

Collaborative assessments are used to reduce the duplication of work when multiple facilities under the same medical and administrative leadership are required to provide the same evidence.

Where a collaborative assessment is conducted, a comprehensive assessment to the DAP organizational standards will be conducted at a primary site. Site leaders will attend the assessment to confirm conformance to regional standards in each related facility.

Pulmonary function quality control program

Pulmonary function testing is a useful diagnostic test; however, accurate results are dependent on careful technique, proper equipment calibration, and maintenance. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) have recommended procedures to reduce variability.

Under the DAP pulmonary function quality control program, facility personnel at each site perform quality control (QC) procedures and pulmonary function measurements on BioQC subjects according to the DAP protocol.

The PF QC worksheets are submitted to the DAP twice each year, and they give an indication of any areas of concern with the equipment or performance of the tests. Where unsuccessful QC performance is observed, facilities must provide the DAP with evidence of corrective actions taken to improve performance.

During the on-site assessments every four years the QC performance history will be reviewed and considered when determining the overall accreditation award.

Evaluates and establishes accreditation standards for the performance of diagnostic services
Advises DAP staff and the DAP Committee on medical, technical and management issues
Conducts on-site assessments of diagnostic facilities and services

The DAP assesses both new and existing facilities

All new facilities, and some new services within an already accredited facility, must go through the...
Accreditation assessments are scheduled every four years. Any nonconformances identified at the...