Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) is working towards earning an accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), based in India, to ensure quality care.
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 will apply for NABH by the end of 2020. 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.
Chief Planning Officer (CPO) of Quality Assurance Standardization Division (QASD), JDWNRH, Jigme Choden, said the need for the accreditation was felt because the health system in the country is going through rapid economic and technical changes, and has raised the concern for quality care to ensure that the hospital play its expected role in national health system.
She said the primary aim of getting accredited is to improve the service standard so quality healthcare services can be provided and to meet the expectations of the people.
She said the primary beneficiary are the patients, out of all the stakeholders, because it will ensure high quality of care and patient safety. Medical staff with credential will serve the people, ensuring the rights of patients are respected and protected.
Patients’ satisfaction is regularly evaluated. So it is important to keep track of patients’ satisfaction every quarterly, she added.
With the accreditation, the hospital will also benefit, and will inspire continuous improvement. It will enable the hospital to demonstrate commitment to quality care, and also it will 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, she said.
Research has found out that the staff who work in accredited hospitals have better working environment 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.
The hospital is also working on to build institutional linkage with the hospital in India to make sure that they are on a right path, said CPO.
“We have been preparing for NABH since 2018, and we have come up with SOPs and policies endorsed recently,” said CPO.
The hospital has been following the same standard of Bhutan Health Care Standard for Quality Assurance (BHSQA) endorsed by Ministry of Health (MoH) and Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB) in 2019, which is developed very close reference to NABH.
BHSQA has 10 chapters, of which 5 are patient centered standards and rest 5 are organization centered standard. 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.
Around 25 committee are formed and quality management committee is the highest authority.
CPO said there is certain amount allocated for accreditation. However, she said it is not enough, and they might have to look for donors. She said that just to install a public announcement system costs up to Nu 2 million, and similarly for safe drinking water and others. The application fee is around Nu 300,000.
Meanwhile, the team from India will come to do pre-assessment of the hospital next month, and they will inform on how far the hospital has achieved for NABH and also where the hospital is lacking.