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Updated: February 22, 2012 14:53 IST

Surprise checks on accredited hospitals soon

Special Correspondent
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Narottam Puri, chairman, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals &Healthcare (right), and P.V. Vijayaraghavan, Dean-Education SRU & secretary, Endowment Committee, at the ‘Prof. T.K. Partha Sarathy Endowment Oration’ in Chennai on
Thursday. Photo: R.Shivaji Rao
The Hindu Narottam Puri, chairman, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals &Healthcare (right), and P.V. Vijayaraghavan, Dean-Education SRU & secretary, Endowment Committee, at the ‘Prof. T.K. Partha Sarathy Endowment Oration’ in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: R.Shivaji Rao

The National accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) will launch surprise checks on accredited hospitals to ensure that institutions continuously meet the criteria of quality, NABH chairman Narottam Puri said on Thursday.

Delivering the sixth ‘Prof. T.K. Partha Sarathy Endowment Oration' under the auspices of the Sri Ramachandra University (SRU), he said the Board meeting in December had decided that the NABH will go for surprise checks as otherwise the system would be ineffective because at the end of the day, accreditation was a largely voluntary process.

The NABH also adopted the procedure of granting reaccreditation after a period of 18 months to monitor a hospital's continuous commitment to quality, Dr. Puri said.

Since its inception in 2006, the NABH had granted accreditation to 129 hospitals from a pool of 562 applicants and issued reaccreditation to 13 institutions. While NABH accreditation was increasingly being sought by private hospitals as a quality differentiator, quite a few large Government hospitals had also come forward for accreditation, Dr. Puri said.

The standards set by NABH which were uniquely tailored for the Indian healthcare and kept patient safety at the heart of the process, are now being applied for accrediting blood banks, small single-speciality hospitals, allopathic clinics and imaging units.

However, a challenge faced by the NABH was its imperative to uphold quality while not ignoring the equally pressing need to address issues of accessibility and affordability of healthcare especially in rural India, he said. The NABH, which was assisting the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare frame licensing guidelines for implementing the Clinical Establishments Act and standards for all steams of medicine, was also in consultation with the Medical Council of India on introducing patient-centric quality assurance in the medical curriculum, he said. The NABH was also trying to increase its pools of assessors and consultants, he said.

Dr. Puri, who traced the evolution of the quality movement post World War II, felt that in India, which as a country was so used to quantity and size, quality was now becoming centre-stage not just in manufacturing but in healthcare too. Interestingly, this push for quality in healthcare had come not from the Union Health Ministry but from the Tourism Ministry vis a vis its stake in medical tourism.

According to Dr. Puri, among licensing, certification and accreditation, accreditation was the important thing in healthcare not just because it was a marker of certain standards but also because unlike certification where the institution could set its own bar – for instance setting 24 hours as turnaround for lab reports and meeting it – accreditation required adherence to a set of standards set by an independent entity. And, among all the stakeholders who stood to gain from accreditation it was the patients who stood to benefit the most, he said.

Accreditation also stimulates continuous improvement, raises community confidence in services, provides an opportunity to benchmark against the best, improves overall professional development of clinicians and paramedics and provides an objective system of empanelment by insurance and other Third Party entities, he said.

V. R. Venkataachalam, SRU Chancellor, P. V. Vijayaraghavan, Dean-Education, Kalpana Balakrishnan, Professor, Environmental Health Engineering, Vijayalakshmi Thansekaraan, Controller of Examinations, and Balaji Singh, member, endowment committee also participated.

What surprise is this? NABH has already announcd from roof tops that it will launch surprise checks. Now the cat is out and these checks will lack any surprise!

from:  Laxmi
Posted on: Feb 11, 2012 at 11:19 IST

Though this is an appreciably good move from NABH but they must take into account vast rural masses who don't have access to medical facilities;forget about the quality care.Every corporate hospital must be given accreditation only if they have already opened a branch in near by rural areas to provide same quality care as rural people in our country are not secondary citizens by any sense & deserve same level of care & attention.

from:  shaleen
Posted on: Feb 10, 2012 at 23:02 IST

The best of Indian hospitals have glaring differences with Western hospitals. They are
1. Lack of manners and adequate communication by Indian doctors when treating patients. 2. Doctors try to earn money from hospitals by ordering unnecessary examinations and medicines. 3.Even the best of hospitals have poor hygienic conditions. 4.The training of nursing staff is poor and their behaviour with patients is mostly appalling.

from:  Jai Singh
Posted on: Feb 10, 2012 at 21:21 IST

The National accreditation Board for Hospital's proposal to audit of
working of accredited hospitals across the country comes none too
soon. We have been hearing of some of the very big hospitals
resorting very frightening short cuts to save money. NABL audit and
accreditation is the only means for public to have faith in the
national health provider system.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Feb 10, 2012 at 07:29 IST
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