Healthcare services throughout Latin America, North America and the world are on the verge of quality breakthroughs thanks to several global organizations that were formed to identify and measure best practices in patient care, quality and safety, with the aim of certifying clinics and hospitals, providing improved care to hospitalized patients and a competitive advantage to healthcare organizations.
Below is a summary of these organizations and how they’re driving improvements in healthcare:
The Joint Commission International (JCI)
The mission of The Joint Commission International (JCI) is to identify, measure and evaluate healthcare best practices, preventive healthcare and patient safety. The objective is to help clinics provide alternative healthcare solutions focused on prevention instead of after-the-fact treatment of illnesses. They offer accreditation and certifications to healthcare organizations through their Gold Seal of Approval. They also share cutting edge education on healthcare best practices, and consult with clinics using an evidence-based methodology. The JCI also helps clinics and hospitals maintain their adherence to these quality and safety standards. The accreditation program consists of six international patient safety goals:
- Identify patients correctly.
- Improve effective communication.
- Improve the safety of high-alert medications.
- Ensure correct-site, correct-procedure, correct-patient surgery.
- Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
- Reduce the risk of patient-harm resulting from domestic falling accidents.
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on the creation of the paperless hospital. It also provides accreditation and certification for healthcare organizations that are actively pursuing this goal.
HIMSS is leading change in health and management systems information through knowledge exchange, promotion, collaboration and technological innovation. HIMSS is governed by the principles of simplicity, intuitiveness, consistency, effective use of language, and forgiveness of errors.
International Council of Nurses (ICN)
The mission of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) is to promote quality nursing in hospitals throughout the world, as well as to promote correct healthcare policies while advancing the practice and knowledge of good nursing.
ICN works in conjunction with organizations such as NANDA, Sigma Theta Tau International, and in Colombia the Asociación Nacional de Enfermeras, to carry out its mission.
The ICN certifies hospitals that follow its recommendations with the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP). Hospital benefits include improved status, guidance on the integration of nursing data with other hospital systems, and help with the implementation of evidence-based medication practices.
How Certified Organizations Are Transforming Hospital Care
These three international healthcare certification organizations are having a dramatically positive impact on patient care in hospitals and clinics. We can summarize it specifically in the following areas:
- Clinics and hospitals can improve their image by providing a much safer environment for their patients.
- They adopt a culture of continuous improvement in patient healthcare, safety and life-saving processes.
- They receive recognition by third party standards-setting organizations recognized globally for their quality standards.
- They can subsequently offer their services to an expanded market.
- They reduce their operational costs.
- Finally, they develop an enhanced ability to negotiate with government agencies and insurance companies.
Patients and hospitals can both benefit from the knowledge, best practices and certifications identified by organizations such as JCI, HIMSS, and ICN. However, these efforts require a significant investment of time and financial resources, as well as requiring a change in organizational culture, a difficult challenge. Many organizations will adopt these standards quicker than others. The final result will be safer hospitals, better quality healthcare, and operational efficiency resulting in more convenient hospital visits. Finally there are 3rd party consulting firms in the market who can actively help you understand and navigate through the steps to meet the certified standards and successfully obtain the necessary certifications for your business.