There are a number of reasons why medical tourists may choose to travel to other countries for treatment. However, better quality of services at an affordable price continues to be the top reason behind this decision.
How does one assess the quality of care at hospitals abroad? Reading patient reviews and talking to people who have been there is one option, but is anecdotal. A more reliable means is to review the hospital’s accreditations.
What is hospital accreditation?
One of the most reliable ways to assess the medical quality of a hospital is to look at its accreditation. A hospital acquires an accreditation only when it fulfils certain quality parameters and standards, when assessed by an equitable and independent organization. Just a few of these parameters include patient safety, facilitation quality, and doctor qualifications. A hospital or a clinic, which is fully accredited by an independent organization is, thus, more reliable in terms of medical safety standards.
Which organizations offer accreditations to hospitals?
There are many hospital and health care accreditation organizations such as the Joint Commission International (JCI), International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQuA) and Trust Effective Medicine, Optimized Services (TEMOS).
There are several other organizations that offer accreditation to national and regional hospitals and health care facilities, including India’s National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH). However, this article focuses on the primary international organizations that provide accreditation to healthcare institutions around the world – JCI – and other popular national accreditation bodies.
JCI: Why is it a global standard?
JCI is a non-profit organization based in the United States that accredits many hospitals and clinics based on fulfilment of certain parameters. So far, the organization has accredited 21,000 health care institutions in the United States, and more than 350 institutions in around 16 countries.
JCI is one of the most trusted accreditation for any speciality hospital or a clinic and is considered a “gold” standard for healthcare institutions around the world. On an average, a hospital takes around two years for a JCI assessment for accreditation, which is done against several parameters, including:
- Patient safety
- Access to care
- Quality improvement
- Facility management
- Continuity of care
The standards set by the JCI and the tools used to evaluate a hospital are intended to reduce risk, improve patient safety and specially designed to promote an environment of sustained quality improvement. In addition, these standards are designed by healthcare professionals themselves and can be applied to any healthcare setting.
Thus, medical tourists should look whether the hospital is JCI accredited or not, when planning to get treated abroad. A hospital that acquires JCI certification will rank high in terms of quality of services and patient care.
Patients have yet another reason to have more confidence and trust on JCI accredited hospitals. Such hospitals are looked after by ISQuA, that works in coordination with the World Health Organizations to make sure that all accreditation bodies are working as per standards.
Other Popular Accreditation Agencies
NABH: This independent agency accredits hospitals and clinics within India. NABH standards are also approved and accredited by ISQuA. It is a part of Quality Council of India (QCI) and organizes programs accreditation programs for Indian healthcare institutions.
TEMOS: The Trust Effective Medicine, Optimized Services (TEMOS) is another international certifying body that provides accreditation to hospitals and clinics that attends medical tourists. Facilities with TEMOS certification already have a previous national or international quality certification. So far, TEMOS has accredited more than 45 healthcare institutions in 15 countries.
NCQA: The National Committee for Quality Assurance is a national body that accredits US hospitals and clinics against its own set of well-defined standards. Medical tourists often look for this certification while choosing a hospital for treatment in the US.
There are several other national and international accreditation’s that also set a benchmark of quality. Medical tourists can look for information on such accreditation’s online while planning their trip and selecting a hospital for treatment.
Lyfboat only includes hospitals that have earned the highest international standard of quality. To view all accredited hospitals, visit https://www.lyfboat.com/hospitals/.