We figured that the best people to tell you are our clients. Here is a short summary of some of the comments received during our evaluations.
- Writing the self-assessment based on the previous version of our standards gave us insight into how far we have come with improving our processes, and stimulated us to further develop and revise our standards.
- Key benefit for our organization is the possibility to continuously improve standards and processes aimed at improvement of the quality of health care services in the health organizations and health system on the whole.
- Before embarking on the Standards revision project, we prepared ourselves by researching best practices, including the ISQua principles, so that the standards would be developed on a solid foundation. The accreditation process has reinforced the thoughtfulness and diligence required to provide evidence to others, e.g ISQua. This process will also encourage us to pursue ISQua accreditation with subsequent standard development.
- Going through the ISQua process has definitely helped to make us more rigorous and self-critical as an organisation. We believe it has strengthened our standards and the way that we assess healthcare providers.
- The peer review by ISQua enables us to benchmark with other like organisations and the outcomes reinforced that we are performing to best practice standards. The benefits of having external perspectives enable exchange of ideas which together with suggestions for improvement and recommendations assist us with opportunities to enhance our performance which benefits our stakeholders.
- Staff were engaged throughout the process from preparation to the onsite survey - good teambuilding and quality improvement benefits
- It provides our major stakeholders - government, residents and the industry- with assurance that as an organisation we meet appropriate standards
- Allows us to experience what our clients’ experience!
ACCREDITATION IN CYPRUS
Whilst IAP does not work directly with health and social care organisations there is interest from the sector. Recently I was invited by The Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre in Cyprus, to give an overview of accreditation internationally; present the emergence of many national accreditation agencies over the past 15 years; and discuss examples of how other nations have approached their creation. I was invited by Mr A. I. Stamatis, the Chief Executive of the centre who is passionate about quality improvement and healthcare in general in Cyprus.
The talk was attended by hospital managers, advisers of the Ministry of Health and staff of the Centre.
Mr Stamatis kindly wrote the following piece about what prompted him to have an external evaluation.
The Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre is a not-for-profit, stand-alone, non-surgical cancer hospital in Cyprus. The decision to pursue quality accreditation was taken in May 2004 and accreditation was awarded in July 2007 by CHKS against their standards and also ISO9001. The Centre is the first hospital in Cyprus to attain this dual and to-date is one of only two internationally accredited hospitals on the island.
Accreditation was pursued because it was felt that in a small country with little relevant institutional infrastructure, accreditation provides an external benchmark, facilitates the evolution of state-of the art systems and spurs improvement.
The most important benefit has proven to be to the staff. The process has enhanced individual and collective staff knowledge and confidence and has raised the level of ambition.
Overall the Centre is to-day a safer hospital for both patients and staff.
The key success factors also have to do with people. Of course the Board and the CEO must be committed. The involvement of the top line managers and the second line supervisors (who at first were hesitant contributors) is also important. An important decision is the choice of one of the line managers (not an external consultant) to act as a Project Manager.
Cyprus has a large agenda for health reform including a universal funding system and corporatisation of its public hospitals. Quality improvement and patient safety are not, regrettably, high on policymakers’ priorities.