The accreditation the General Hospital received in 2011 put the institution among the top level hospitals in the country.

The General Hospital in Kochi is gearing up for the inspections to revalidate the certification granted by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH). All the staff members are in the final stages of preparation for the three-day inspection that begins on Thursday.

It is the number of staff that is dogging the hospital services, both in the medical and the paramedical area. While the number of posts of doctors is 63, there are also around ten doctors from the National Rural Health Mission and over 60 interns to handle the 2500 patients who arrive at the out patient departments daily. “The government needs to double the regular posts in the hospital to provide services to patients in continuity,” said a medical official. Requirement of paramedical staff is even more compared to the regular hands available.

The 783-bed hospital has a total nursing strength of 300, which includes about 100-odd appointed on contract. At least 60 more nurses are needed to serve the patients properly.

Of the 800-odd staff at the hospital, about 600 are regular and the rest are on contract. Hospital Development Society and NRHM make arrangements for staff on contract.

“The NABH inspectors can demand inspection of any aspect of the hospital,” said P.G. Anne, superintendent of the hospital. “We have done the reviews on our part,” she said.

There are several parameters for inspections in each department. Anything blocking the passages in the hospital corridors, equipment, and furniture left unattended besides the stringent documentation processes that are being followed or any aspect of the hospital that hampers the hospital safety, cleanliness and treatment could bring down the score of the hospital.

The prestigious accreditation that the General Hospital received in 2011 had put the institution among the top level hospitals in the country and among the few government hospitals that have got recognition from NABH. No large government hospital as this one had been accredited by NABH at the time.

The inspections for the NABH certification were carried out in 2010 and the hospital had undergone a sea-change in its approach to patient care in its facilities and the attitude of the staff.

A number of new initiatives that were started in the hospital, such as the modern dietary kitchen that provides free food to the patients, had made a major impression.

The most difficult part in going through the initial stages of accreditation was getting the documentation work in proper order and to get the staff of the hospital to raise the bar in their attitude towards work.

The accreditation has to be sustained through inspections after every three years.

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