Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Star system is in the works @ NABH

Now all that I write in this specific post is grapevine and hasn't been verified by me through proper sources. However, I got this news sometime back from a very trusted senior quality professional whom I know for many years.

We all are aware that NABH has separate set of standards for different categories of providers like small and large hospitals, clinics, dental clinics, ayurvedic hospitals etc. Very recently NABH pressed into action a provision in the accreditation called as Progressive Accreditation for hospitals. Progressive Accreditation is given to hospitals who have scored above a particular threshold but not the mandatory minimum score for achieving accreditation for 3 years. Under Progressive accreditation, a hospital is entitled for accreditation for 1 year, after which they undergo re-assessment with an objective to observe desirable improvement in compliance and score (Notice here that normally surveillance audit happens 18 months after awarding of the accreditation). At the moment, 2 hospitals have got the Progressive Accreditation, and I had the chance to speak to the administration in one of them. They have been able to achieve compliance to a large extent, but the committee was not very comfortable with a few Partial and Non Compliances. Having seen their compliance track record, the committee felt to motivate them by awarding Progressive Accreditation with a view to acknowledge their adherence, and to create an incentive for increasing compliance by these hospitals. Many more hospitals might be on their way to receive progressive accreditation.

Now, the news that I have got is that NABH is introducing a Star Rating system, where accreditation will be offered in 3 levels - 1, 2 and 3 Star. Two abridged versions of the main standard will be introduced, thus creating two step-down levels of the main standard. This is mainly to create avenue for more and more hospitals to come under the scope of accreditation.

My personal take on this prospective development is that it is a step in the right direction. NABH and accreditation is new to an otherwise old industry which has providers of all kinds and sizes and having establishments in remote rural areas to the large scale metros gifted with all amenities. How would having a monolithic standard going to help the industry if most of the participants find it impossible to comply with them.

By widening the scope of accreditation by relaxing some requirements, yet segregating the accredited hospitals through a Star rating system, will go a long way in boosting the confidence of providers to go for the accreditation.

For starters, a major benefit of accreditation is that it sets the organization on the path of continual improvement in quality of care delivered by them. If this group grows, it is going to benefit patients in the long run as they can see a systematic improvement in services of accredited hospitals.

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