W & C Hospital has the coveted NABH tag

Preparing a government hospital for National Accreditation Board for Health and Healthcare Providers (NABH) accreditation is no easy task.

But the tougher call is to maintain the accreditation and to ensure that the staff remain motivated enough to keep the newly introduced systems and processes running.

At the Women and Children Hospital at Thycaud, the second public sector hospital in the State to get the NABH accreditation, every staff member goes by the principle that patients come first.

“The past three years of going through the processes of securing the NABH accreditation has made each one of us realise that the coveted accreditation is all about ensuring that in a hospital, we put the patient above everything. All administrative processes have been simplified, manuals drawn up, and protocols put in place, primarily to ensure patient safety and user satisfaction,” says B. Ushakumari, the Superintendent at W & C hospital.

The 428-bed hospital handles about 450 to 600 patients daily in its OP clinics and casualty, and manages about 600 deliveries a month.

As per the NABH regulations, there can be no make-shift beds on the floor and the distance between two beds in a ward should also be as per regulations. For infrastructural renovations, undertaken as part of the accreditation process, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) spent Rs.7.5 crore while the State government provided Rs.2.5 crore.

Today, every department has its own manuals and set protocols, and every member is well-versed in these manuals.

There are broader guidelines that determine the safe injections policy, antibiotic policy, when hysterectomies can be an option, infection control etc.

There are quality procedure manuals for every ward, labour room, pharmacy, housekeeping, fire safety departments, laboratory, blood bank, operation theatre etc. and 17 committees that meet regularly for review.

The impact of these systems has been that every staff member in a department is familiar with and trained in these manuals, and there are no confusions if there are any sentinel events. If it is announced over the public address system that there is a Code Pink or Code Blue emergency in a ward, every staff member knows the role he or she should perform.

The medical records library at the hospital—even though not electronic—is so well organised and managed that the case sheet and related records of every patient it has treated since 2004 can be sourced easily.

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, who visited the hospital on Tuesday, Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan and other senior officials, who had dropped by the previous day, were full of praise for the staff members.

The Minister announced the setting up of a new laboratory and a canteen for the hospital.

An outlet of Karunya fair price medical shop would soon be opened, he said. He also promised that the hospital would be given the service of a full-time anaesthesiologist exclusively for its infertility clinic.

Landscaping and beautification of the hospital surroundings were also on the anvil.