In the globalized world, the healthcare industry is not only impacted by corporate growth but various other forces like business competition, medical tourism, medical insurance, patient expectations, etc. Because of this, the quality of healthcare at hospitals is affected. Quality of care is one of the prominent agendas of any health policy. This has led to the establishment of national and international regulating bodies that offer accreditation to hospitals. Hospital Accreditation is a process by which an organization like a hospital, clinic, and other healthcare services, are assessed on a set of predetermined standards.
NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers) is a healthcare governing body in India that ensures quality healthcare and peerless patient experience and satisfaction at hospitals through its regulations. JCI(Joint Commission International) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits healthcare organizations in all countries of the world, except United States. Both NABH and JCI accreditations aim to improve the quality of care through diverse approaches which are either mandated by the government, voluntary or initiated by independent agencies.
Accreditation and Improvement in quality of hospital care
The following points show how accreditation helps in improving the quality of health care.
a) Accreditation ensures better patient care:
As we know, the future of healthcare is aimed at more efficient and high-quality healthcare. Surveys have shown that accreditation emphasizes better patient satisfaction scores. When the result is a higher patient satisfaction score, it entails profit and is beneficial to all stakeholders, patients, and employees. Patients are the biggest beneficiaries. Accreditation generates high quality of care and patient safety. The patients get services from authorized medical staff. The rights of patients are admired and protected. Patient satisfaction is regularly evaluated.
b) Accreditation to a Hospital stimulates continuous improvement.
It enables hospitals in demonstrating a commitment to quality care. It uplifts community confidence in the services provided by the hospital. It also provides an opportunity for the healthcare unit to benchmark with the best. Hospitals tend to naturally put in the effort, invest in better technology, and raise the bar for better patient care.
c) Accreditation provides a sense of trust in legal circles:
Accreditation provides an objective system of jury empanelment by insurance-vendors and other Third Parties. This helps in obtaining better third-party insurance vendor support or receiving more backing from stakeholders to enhance infrastructure. Accreditation provides access to reliable, authentic and certified information on facilities, infrastructure, and level of care.
d) Accreditation improves working environments for staff:
The better the healthcare organization in regards to infrastructure, cleanliness, faster services, and good maintenance of healthcare equipment, the easier it is for staff to manage patient data and patient care effectively. The patients get services from authorized medical staff. It leads to improved productivity, better staff performance, and higher chances of greater patient satisfaction.
e) Accreditation maintains the hospital image:
Accreditation is an ongoing process that takes years to achieve. This means the hospital must show credibility in its services, must be responsive to improvements being suggested, must display full transparency in communication to staff and stakeholders, and must have the hunger to innovate for better patient care. This improved care quality would automatically facilitate lesser or no patient complaints and more patient and stakeholders satisfaction and would make the hospital most preferred among the patients, thereby improving the hospital’s image.
All in all, accreditation improves the overall professional development of Clinicians and Paramedical staff and provides leadership for quality improvement within medicine and nursing.