12 government hospitals to receive accreditation

Special Correspondent

Tamil Nadu Government signs memorandum of understanding with Quality Council of India to set the process in motion

CHENNAI: Twelve government hospitals in Tamil Nadu will receive accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals (NABH) once they achieve certain standards prescribed by the Board, PWC Davidar, special secretary, Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, has said. The State government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Quality Council of India (QCI) to implement the accreditation process. The Quality Council had already identified people to implement the programme in Tamil Nadu within the next 7-8 months, he said.

The hospitals are in Erode, Namakkal, Cuddalore, Pudukottai, Tirupur, Padmanabhapuram, Manaparai, Usilampatti, Tambaram, Aruppukotai, Sholingar and Hosur.

Terming it a historic moment for the State, Mr. Davidar said it was a big step for government hospitals that they were capable of putting in place minimum standards that would ensure quality of care for patients. “Government hospitals are second to none in terms of expertise and infrastructure,” he told a group of hospital administrators representing the 12 hospitals. Whatever lacuna was identified by officials of the accrediting body would be set right immediately, he said.

The hospitals have been given a freehand in upgrading infrastructure. The consultants would visit the hospitals and identify gaps in the set-up. These would be set right in the next five-six months, Mr.Davidar said. One nodal officer would be appointed for each district—where the hospitals are located—who will be able to fast track the process of improving standards. Adequate funds had been allotted: a non-recurrent expenditure of Rs.125.9 lakh and an annual expenditure of Rs.18.90 lakh were sanctioned.

Certain processes that had already been initiated in Tamil Nadu, including documentation, rationalisation and hospital management systems, would aid the process of accreditation, he said.

Patient safety

Giridhar J. Gyani, secretary-general, Quality Council of India, urged the hospital administrators to use it as an opportunity to add value to their hospitals and services. After the process was complete in seven months, these hospitals would rival those in the private sector. Patient safety and satisfaction would be guaranteed with accreditation, besides the scope for professional development and skills upgrade. Accreditation, he pointed out, was not a one-time activity, but was a long haul.

P. Sivasankaran, chairman, ACME, consulting firm that will facilitate the accreditation process in Tamil Nadu, said this would help to erase the differences between private and government hospitals. Accreditation would do much to increase the confidence of the public in government hospitals.