A hospital is a place where one goes when you are sick, have been in an accident or to give birth. The entire reason behind going to hospital is to regain your health and safe guard yourself against further injury or illness. However, how do you know which hospital to book yourself into? Do you go for the most expensive one, the one closest to your home or the one with the best reputation?
In fact, one should go to a hospital that is accredited. What does hospital accreditation mean? Hospital accreditation has been defined as ‘A self-assessment and external peer assessment process used by healthcare organisations to accurately assess their level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve’. A hospital needs to strive to continuously improve in three areas: medicine, quality healthcare and medical ethics.
Hospital Accreditation Background
The word hospital comes from the Latin ‘hospes’- a guest. A noun derived from this word is ‘hositium’- signifying hospitality. The two words are ‘related’ and form the meaning- a shelter.
In recent year hospitals and healthcare services have become vital components in society. A hospital is a place of safety for staff and members of the public. The quality of this healthcare is important to many different parties: Government, Non-government organisations (NGO’s) targeting social welfare, professional organisations representing doctors and nurses, patient organisations and shareholders in the companies providing medical services and supplies.
In 2003, the above mention parties began to understand the importance of quality healthcare and the hospital accreditation system was put in place. As mentioned previously patient safety is the centre of the accreditation standards. Hospitals need to comply with the following rules:
- Hospitals need to provide access to care and continuous care- assessments
- Hospitals need to adhere to patient rights and educate patients on illnesses/injuries
- Hospitals need to manage the medication of patients correctly and provide quality care for all patients
- Hospitals need to strive for continuous improvement in patient safety
- Hospitals need to ensure staff members are correctly qualified and continuously updated on new procedures and methods
- Hospitals need to maintain responsible management of all information in their possession.
The Hospital Accreditation Process:
Baseline Assessment – This is an assessment from knowledgeable and credible evaluators who conduct a baseline assessment to ensure the hospital has met each element of the accreditation process.
Action Planning – Using the findings of the baseline assessment, the hospital then develops a detailed plan showing the core standards. This would be ensuring staff members are properly trained, improvement of consent policies and refining the management of the hospital.
Chapter Assignment – This looks at the people skills and time-management skills of the staff members. Once you have assessed staff on these two areas, this demonstrates who is able to lead teams throughout the hospital and streamline work processes.
Policies and Procedures – A hospital needs to redefine and reassess the policies and procedures to ensure standards are maintained. This process should be re-evaluated on a regular basis (quarterly).
Once the accreditation process is complete and the assessors are satisfied, your hospital will be accredited through the local accreditation company. This accreditation ensures patients that the staff members are fully trained, that patient safety is a key concern and all equipment in the hospital is regularly maintained.
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Greg Jones – Hospital accreditation expert. This article aims to explain why hospital accreditation is and why it is useful for a hospital to have.