W&C Hospital upgrades facilities for NABH accreditation

The Women and Children Hospital at Thycaud will soon apply to the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) for accreditation.

“The NABH team conducted their final inspection last year, when they identified several areas where we did not meet the standard. This has been rectified and all that remains is the fumigation and sterilisation of the renovated operation theatre. We hope to apply for the tag this week itself,” hospital Superintendent B. Ushakumari said.

Sole member

Till date, only one government hospital in the State — General Hospital, Ernakulam — has secured NABH accreditation. The Cherthala taluk hospital is also in the final stage of the process of applying for the coveted tag.

It was in August 2008 that the State government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Quality Council of India for accreditation of select government hospitals — one in each district. The quality improvement process for accreditation began in September 2009, with the support of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

W&C Hospital was among the 14 hospitals selected by the government earlier to undergo major infrastructural, administrative, and system overhaul so that these could be upgraded to NABH standards.

The project was part of efforts at improving service delivery and the quality of care in government hospitals so that the public would utilise them better. It was found that out-of-pocket expenditure on health was growing, with almost 65 per cent of the patient care being carried out in private sector hospitals.

In 2010, when NABH team came for the initial assessment at W&C, they listed 127 areas of non-compliance to standards (NCs). Last year, when the final assessment was done, the NCs were down to 47.

Race against time

The last few weeks saw the hospital racing to complete the works, the main one being the renovation of the operation theatre to NABH standards. The final hurdle was the clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board for the X-ray unit.

“W&C Hospital is one of the premier hospitals in the district now, with modern equipment, efficient hospital management systems, medical records maintenance, patient safety charter, standard protocols etc. Even the distance between two beds in a ward is as per NABH standards so that no patient gets cross-infection,” a senior NRHM official said.

Training for staff

He said that the hospital staff too had undergone several sessions of training as efficient hospital management processes — managing OP clinics, emergency management etc. — were vital for improving the standards.

“The emergency alert system is in place here. If Code Blue alert is sounded, the staff knows that it is for cardiac arrest and the role each has to play to manage the situation efficiently,” he said.