NABH & NABL Accreditation Assistance

The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) Standards is today the highest benchmark standard for hospital quality in India. Though developed by the Quality Council of India on the lines of International Accreditation Standards like the JCI, ACHS and the Canadian Hospital Accreditation Standards, the NABH is however seen as a more practical set of Standards, topical and very relevant to India’s unique healthcare system requirements.

Within just 2 years of its launch, the Indian Accreditation Standards, the NABH was accepted by ISQUa, the International Society for Quality Assurance in Healthcare, as an International Accreditation on par with the world's best.

Patients are the biggest beneficiaries from the NABH Accreditation, as it results in a high quality of care and patient safety. The patients get services by credential medical staff. Rights of patients are respected and protected. Patient satisfaction is regularly evaluated. Accreditation also benefits the staff of the hospital as it provides for continuous learning, good working environment, leadership and above all ownership of clinical processes.

NABH Accreditation to a hospital stimulates continuous improvement. It enables the Hospital in demonstrating commitment to quality care and raises the community confidence in the services provided by the Hospital. It also provides opportunity to benchmark with the best.

Finally, the NABH is expected to provide an objective system of empanelment by Insurance and other Third Parties Administrators. Accreditation provides access to reliable and certified information on facilities, infrastructure and level of care, a need being felt increasingly by the Indian Insurance Companies who have recently come out with a three tier package segmenting hospitals into A,B& C categories based on which tariffs for cashless hospitalization treatments will be set. The NABH Accreditation will naturally help Hospital to be in the A Category.

National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL), similar to the NABH, is also an autonomous body, under the Quality Council of India. The primary objective being to maintain an accreditation system for laboratories suitable for India, developed in accordance with relevant national and international standards and guides. The NABL Accreditation is a formal recognition of the technical competence of a laboratory based on third party assessment and following international guidelines. Trained Assessors taken from institutions all over India, with established credentials in testing and calibration activities carry out the assessment.

ACME is currently the only Consultancy in South India to have been approved by the Quality Council of India, as NABH Consultants. During the last three years since the inception of the NABH, we have been working with over 50 of the leading Private Hospitals in their Accreditation efforts. These hospitals include some of the leading ones in the South like Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences & Mallya Hospital in Bangalore and the Apollo Hospitals at Mysore, the Apollo Specialty Hospital, Vijaya Hospitals, MIOT Hospitals & Sankara Netralaya (4 of their Units) in Chennai, the Apollo Hospital in Madurai, Kavery Medical Centre in Trichy, GANGA Hospital in Coimbatore, and the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Holy Cross Hospital, PVS Hospitals, PRS Hospitals, Dhanalakshmi Hospital, Trichur Heart Hospital and EMS Memorial Hospital in Kerala.

Apart from these Private Hospitals, ACME has also been in the forefront in enabling large Government Hospitals in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in going for the NABH. Of these 18 have till date successfully completed the Pre-Assessment and 4 the final assessment of which 1 has already been awarded the Final Accreditation. These 4 hospitals being incidentally the first set of Government Hospitals in South India to successfully complete the NABH Accreditation process.

Our consulting approach to the NABH Accreditation is unique in that we adopt a very close handholding approach, ensuring that our Consultants become an integral part of the exercise at the Hospital, an agent of the change being brought about. The NABH being an Accreditation Standard requires fundamental changes in the staff attitudes and behaviour if genuine improvement of quality in the delivery of care is to be brought about.

We commence with a comprehensive System Study and Gap Analysis done across the Hospital, covering even the Clinical Areas, especially those having a direct impact on patient care and safety. Our Report detailing the gaps is made with reference to the NABH or the NABL Standards and Clauses. This is followed by several rounds of awareness programs on the NABH Standards, covering different groups of staff and explaining to them those parts of the Standards relevant to their function. For example Nurses would be explained to on the NABH Standards related to Infection Control, Care of Patient, Management of Medication etc, Front Office Staff on Patient Access and Assessment, Information Management Systems, etc.

Once we are clear that a basic level of understanding has been achieved of the NABH requirements in all major departments, we start the system development process, with support of key hospital staff. This approach ensures an in-depth implementation. Based on the progress of implementation, monitored periodically through a series of mock audits and internal audits, the Hospital is prepared for the Assessment.

ISO 9001 Certification for Hospital Quality Management Systems

An ISO 9000 implementation gives a basic road map for integration of all functions involved in total health care services, for ensuring a better quality of service to the patients. Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva, the ISO 9001 Certification is recognised worldwide as a hallmark of professionalism and commitment to quality. The latest version, the ISO 9001:2008, is especially relevant to the Healthcare Services Sector as it focuses on fulfilling customer (patient) expectations, improving the quality of an organisation’s business and management processes, so that when a job is done it is done well, first time, every time.

ACME has been a pioneering consulting firm in applying the ISO 9001 Standards to the Healthcare Sector. In 1997 in technical collaboration with Thomsun Consulting, a global quality management consulting major, ACME's foray began into the Healthcare Quality Sector. Supported by our collaborator's proven track record of success in the healthcare field, ACME assisted the first hospital in the country to go in for the ISO 9001 Certification, the Mallya Hospital at Bangalore.

Over the next ten years, ACME went on to work with more than 100 leading Healthcare Organisations across the country quickly diversifying into Clinical Labs, Nursing Homes, Emergency and Trauma Care Centres and even some of the leading Ayurveda Hospitals.

ACME now occupies a prominent leadership position in the field of Healthcare Quality, for applying the International Quality Management Standard, the ISO 9001 to all healthcare related sectors.

Some minimum attributes that the ACME Consultants work to establish in a Hospital aspiring for an ISO 9001 Certification are:

Acceptable quality care at affordable prices.
Timely care.
Clear communication to the patients.
Best practices for fixing appointment and service delivery.
Reliable diagnostic and laboratory support.
Reliable support services like canteen, ambulance, pharmacy, etc.
Safe and pleasant environment.
Technical competence, courtesy and attitude of staff.

Our Consultants ensure through a proper implementation of the ISO 9001 the establishment of a set of good management practices in all areas of the Hospital that directly or indirectly impact on patient care. These would cover signage at the entry of the hospital directing the patients to the registration counters and the right Out Patient Departments, ensuring continuity of care by a good medical record system, ensuring reliability in the test results for better diagnosis and care, prompt admission and a reasonably comfortable stay as in-patient in the hospital and finally timely discharge from the hospital.

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