12 government hospitals in district to undergo accreditation

Twelve government hospitals in the district will undergo an accreditation, standards, and quality improvement programme — Kerala Accreditation Standards for Hospitals (KASH) — initiated by the government that is intended to ensure that all public sector hospitals deliver an optimum level of services.

KASH seems to have drawn inspiration from the new environment in the government hospitals that have gone through or are going through the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accreditation process.

The NABH accreditation process has brought in freshness and a new work culture in hospitals such as Women & Children Hospital, Thycaud, where there is a sense of collective responsibility and genuine motivation among all staff members to provide quality services.

Under KASH, government hospitals will receive accreditation from the State if these fulfil certain criteria. The programme was initiated as it will be too expensive a process for any government to bring up all its hospitals to meet the stringent standards of NABH.

The 12 hospitals that will go through the quality improvement drive under KASH are the district hospitals at Parassala, Neyyattinkara, and Peroorkada; General Hospital, taluk hospitals at Nedumangad, Chirayinkeezhu, and Varkala; Balaramapuram primary health centre (PHC); and community health centres (CHCs) at Vilappil, Kanyakulangara, and Aryanad.

“We got together the medical officers, nursing superintendents, and laboratory technicians in all these 12 institutions to discuss the initiatives to be taken up in each hospital under KASH. We have constituted a committee of quality assurance officers and biomedical officers who will study the essential facilities, systems, and service delivery in these hospitals, and identify the gaps that need to be filled for these institutions to meet the KASH standards,” district programme manager of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) B. Unnikrishnan said.

KASH standards have been evolved out of the Indian Public Health Standards and the NABH guidelines so that each level of health care institution maintains an essential standards charter within its scope and limitations.

Patient care, patient safety, infection control, medication safety, and equity in delivering healthcare are some of the main components of KASH. “The essential charter of standards for each level of institution will contain a set of guidelines and the staff will have to undergo various levels of training so that these guidelines are implemented properly. The guidelines can be modified by each institution, depending on its facilities and availability of staff,” a health official said.

KASH will be implemented in a time-bound manner and the NRHM has earmarked the funds for the first phase in this year’s allocation.