Quality and Accreditation
In the context of healthcare, accreditation is a voluntary process by which hospitals
and clinics meet standards established by an external accrediting body such as the
Joint Commission International (JCI), The Health Care Accreditation Council, Trent
Accreditation Scheme, Accreditation Canada, or another agency that is recognized
by the International Society for Quality in Health Care Inc. (ISQua). According
to ISQua: “accreditation is a formal process to ensure delivery of safe, high quality
health care based on standards and processes devised and developed by health care
professionals for health care services. It is also a public recognition of achievement
by a healthcare organization of requirements of national healthcare standards”.
What hospital accreditations do I look for?
Although the Joint Commission International is by far the most recognizable accrediting
organization, there are currently a number of other country specific organizations
that are also ISQua members, including:
- The Health Care Accreditation Council (Jordan)
- The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards
- Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation
- Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited
- Irish Health Services Accreditation Board now HIQA
- Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa
- Taiwan Joint Commission on Healthcare Accreditation
- Quality Improvement Council, Australia
- CHKS Healthcare Accreditation Quality Unit, UK
- Joint Commission International, USA
Does it really matter if the hospital I choose is accredited?
Would you knowingly consult with an unlicensed surgeon? Probably not.
The purpose of “accreditation” or licensing is to offer interested parties a process
of external quality evaluation against consensus healthcare standards. In other
words, medical tourism patients are ensured of standardized healthcare practices,
regardless of whether a facility is located in Jordan, Costa Rica or the United
States. In referring to its own accreditation process the JCI website says: “The
accreditation process focuses on the functions and processes that support quality,
safe care, and thus facilitates the use of the best science and professional knowledge
and skills… Standardization through accreditation is a powerful risk reduction strategy
proven effective around the world”.
How can I be certain a particular hospital is accredited?
Most hospitals will usually display accreditation information prominently on their
websites. In the case of Joint Commission International accreditation, you can check
to see if a hospital is accredited at Most hospitals will usually display accreditation information prominently on their websites. In the case of Joint Commission International accreditation, you can check to see if a hospital is accredited at http://www.jointcommissioninternational.org
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