Ensuring quality is a very critical component of high-performing health systems. There is a general awakening on this topic throughout the world, which has prompted the need to improve in terms of actual patient care and patient safety, the quality of healthcare. India has likewise embraced the cause to the fullest extent possible and is consistently committed to enhancing the obtaining accreditation through organizations such as National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), JCI, and ISO.
Accreditation, which is essentially a framework that assists healthcare organizations in establishing objective systems intended for patient safety and quality care developed through a comprehensive approach to total quality management, has had a phenomenal impact on changing the healthcare landscape.
National Accreditation Board for Hospitals – Creating an Ecosystem for Quality in Healthcare
There were no specific national standards for accreditation of healthcare organizations in India which created a need for hour.
Hence, taking this into consideration, in QCI's 7th annual meeting held on April 11, 2005, Secretary General, QCI informed members that a blue print on setting up of accreditation board for Hospitals and Health Service providers has been submitted to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Moreover, (NABH and healthcare providers) was established in the year 2005 with a vision to promote safe, dependable, high-quality health care.
NABH and Healthcare Providers is a constituent board of Quality Council of India, set up to establish and operate accreditation programs for healthcare organizations. The board is structured to cater to much desired needs of the consumers and to set benchmarks for progress of the health industry. The board, while being supported by all stakeholders including industry, consumers, government, has full functional autonomy in its operation. NABH offers accreditation services to hospitals and other clinical establishments in a nondiscriminatory manner regardless of their ownership, legal status, size, and degree of independence.
The standards used by NABH are robustly framed and focus on improvement of patient safety and quality of the delivery of services by the hospitals in the changing healthcare environment. These standards are divided into patient centric and organization (management) centric.
Impact of Accreditation in India
With increase in the number of healthcare organizations getting accredited and with time and added benefits, awareness increased on patient safety and quality in health care which led to an increase in the number of professionals and organizations subscribing to training on quality and patient safety.
The specific impact that NABH Accreditation creates are Reporting of Adverse Events and Errors increased which led to the decrease in events and errors, collection and monitoring of data for several performance-related indicators, documentation of care standardized, and objective measurement of quality of health care.
Benefits of Accreditation
The improvement of services for all stakeholders, including patients, the general public, hospitals and its staff is facilitated through accreditation. Accreditation of healthcare organization is majorly patient-centric and aims to encourage patient safety as the overarching principle while providing care to patients.
The clinical outcomes of a wide range of clinical conditions are improved through accreditation programs, which enhance the process of care delivered by health-care services. The use of accreditation programs as a strategy to raise the caliber of healthcare services should be encouraged. Achieving accreditation requires holding staff to high standards for patient care.
NABH has come up with initiatives for monitoring and analyzing the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help the healthcare organizations to continually keep an eye over the quality and KPIs which has increased the outcome component. NABH has now come up with 5th edition of standards for hospitals and with every new edition, the quality of hospitals has been seen to improvise. NABH is now having a separate and a brand-new portal for Entry Level Certification which is called HOPE Portal (healthcare Organization Platform for Entry Level Certification). NABH also has MoUs and partnerships with National Health Authority, Ministry of AYUSH and other governmental and Private key players in the field of healthcare through which the quality is ensured far and wide throughout the healthcare facilities in India.
Thus, NABH is playing a very major role in creating an ecosystem and standing as a key ambassador to initiate and promote the steps for quality improvement and patient safety in the country.