Quality in healthcare has to be looked in a different perspective for the simple reason that lack of quality here can result in adversely affecting Well Being of a patient. An effective Quality System on the other hand can amount to saving of precious lives. Quality in healthcare is characterized by way of defining structure, processes and more importantly the clinical outcomes. Accreditation in healthcare like one by NABH or JCI is designed around this model. Over and above it is good practice to keep receiving patient feedback through independent credible sources. In some countries the compensation to the healthcare providers is linked based on the rating score based on the patient feedback.
Accreditation by NABH/JCI is based on the global the criteria set by International Society for Quality in Healthcare. This is generally taken as benchmark for medical tourism. The norms are stringent and even after more than 6-years of launch of NABH, there are less than 200-hospitals accredited in the entire country (out of more than 20,000 hospitals).
Quality in healthcare being linked directly to patient safety, we need to drive quality across the entire gamut of healthcare providers, be it hospital, nursing home or clinic. One way to drive quality is to have effective regulation in place. Today we have regulation in some states but have not been effective. The other way to drive quality is to link it with payment. A conservative estimate says that more than 70% patients pay out of packet. Balance 30% comes from paying empanelling agencies including insurance companies. We need to have few objectively defined levels of standards based on established norms of patient safety, which can be adopted by paying/empanelling agencies for selection and empanelling of the hospitals/nursing homes. The paying agencies should use independent organizations to evaluate the compliance of standard to avoid conflict of interest. In time to come even individual payers should be asking healthcare providers for appropriate certificate of compliance before choosing any particular hospital/nursing home/ clinic.
Association of Healthcare Providers (India) has established AHPI Certification Centre which undertakes evaluation of hospitals/nursing homes/ clinics for the benefit of paying/empanelling agencies. The evaluation model is based on verifying structure, processes, outcomes and even the patient feedback, all based on global principles of conformity assessment.
Association of Healthcare Providers (India)- AHPI has come out with two levels (BASIC & ADVANCE) of standards, primarily focusing on PATIENT SAFETY. The two standards will provide with the opportunity for the vast majority of healthcare providers to establish self- assess and improve on patient safety. The standards are written in 'easy to understand' manner describing requirements related to STRUCTURE, PROCESSES and OUTCOMES. Check list has been provided within the standard, which facilitates the hospital to carry out self- assessment. Where needed AHPI CERTIFICATION CETRE will be happy to undertake independent certification for compliance of the standard(s).