The COVID-19 pandemic delayed, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) from applying for accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare (NABH), based in India.
JDWNRH was supposed to apply for NABH in 2020.
An official from the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) in JDWNRH said JDWNRH has achieved 86 percent of the indicators and remaining 14 percent of the non-conformance will be completed by the end of this year. Adding, due to COVID-19, the hospital could not focus on the 14 percent of the non-conformance where certain indicators were left unfulfilled.
She explains that there are 10 chapters, under which there are multiple indicators which need to be fulfilled in order to be accredited. Fulfilling all the indicators will improve the quality of health services and the hospital overall.
Once the hospital is accredited with NABH, it will ensure good quality and efficient services. Public recognition by the accreditation body can be seen as an achievement of standards. NABH also uses a self-assessment and external peer assessment process to accurately assess the level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve.
Getting an accreditation will improve the service standard, so the quality healthcare services can be provided and to meet the expectations of the people. The primary beneficiary are the patients, as it will ensure high quality of care and patient safety.
With the accreditation, the hospital will also benefit, inspiring continuous improvement. It will enable the hospital to demonstrate commitment to quality care, and it will also raise community confidence in the services provided by the hospital, as it will benchmark with the best. People will have more faith in health care.
Research has found out that the staff who work in accredited hospitals have better working environments and are more satisfied in their work. Therefore, the accreditation is expected to improve the overall professional development of clinicians and para medical staff and provide leadership for quality improvement with medicine and nursing.
A QAD official said JDWNRH will be applying for the accreditation in the coming financial year and they have also allocated a budget for this. The fee for applying is Nu 450,000 and about Nu 800,000 for other logistics, she added.
Meanwhile, NABH is a quality council of India. All the hospitals in India are accredited by NABH. There are around 683 NABH standards and the accreditation is valid for three years.
JDWNRH has been following the same standard of Bhutan Health Care Standard for Quality Assurance (BHSQA) endorsed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB) in 2019, which is a very close reference to NABH.
BHSQA has 10 chapters, of which 5 are patient centered standards and the rest 5 are organization centered standards. These standards outline the minimum requirements for providing quality healthcare services by the entire healthcare centers in Bhutan, both private and government settings. It is the responsibility of every healthcare provider to adhere to the standards to ensure the quality and safety of the patients.