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Sustained Improvement of Health Care Quality and Safety Achieved in Jordan
In March 2013, URC celebrated successful completion of its Jordan Healthcare Accreditation Project (JHAP), which has helped to achieve sustainable improvements in the country’s quality and safety of health care through accreditation.
From June 2007 through March 2013, URC and its partners, Joint Commission International (JCI) and Abt Associates, collaborated with various stakeholders—health care facilities and providers from all sectors, professional medical societies and councils, the business community, medical equipment and supply vendors, medical insurance companies, and other USAID-funded projects and collaborating organizations—to secure improved standards of the care for patients. JHAP’s impact on health care will be long-lasting: the project helped establish a sustainable national accreditation agency, the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC), a civil society organization which will carry on JHAP’s mission.
Accreditation has become the norm worldwide as an indication of quality health care services. JHAP’s success stems from its unique approach and understanding of the Jordanian context. By developing its own national accreditation agency, Jordan has ensured standards that are founded on the local context, and its surveyors speak Arabic and understand the country’s health care system. This will lead to fewer errors, better clinical outcomes, and more satisfied patients, families, and health care providers.
To achieve a sustainable and efficient system of continuous quality improvement, JHAP focused on the health system’s strategic, technical, structural, and cultural dimensions. Strategically, JHAP developed clear goals, objectives, and timelines to achieve its vision. Technically, it worked with hospital staff, quality improvement coordinators, and HCAC’s board and staff to build capacity in quality improvement; standards development; education and consultation; and management, leadership, and governance.
Establishment and Institutionalization of the Health Care Accreditation Council
JHAP played a leading role in establishing and laying the foundation for the future governance and sustainability of the Health Care Accreditation Council. The council sets health care standards, prepares health care facilities to meet standards, and awards accreditation and certification. Major results related to this effort include:
- The establishment of HCAC as a private, nonprofit, shareholding company in 2007;
- Accreditation by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) of HCAC’s hospital standards, surveyor training program, and HCAC itself;
- Building HCAC’s ability to generate private business and independently negotiate 12 contracts by the end of the project;
- Establishing strong political support for HCAC from the Government of Jordan and the Royal Court; and
- Increasing HCAC’s recognition in the Middle East and North Africa region as a leader in improving the quality of care.
Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al-Hussein presents a certificate of achievement to Ma’an Hospital for compliance with HCAC’s National Quality and Safety Goals.
Development and Publication of Accreditation Standards
JHAP facilitated the development of accreditation standards by establishing a system for developing and scoring standards, training task forces and HCAC staff to systematically develop evidence-based standards, and implementing the process of reviewing and approving standards. The project contributed to the development of three editions of hospital standards; two editions of primary health care and reproductive health standards; and the first editions of standards for breast imaging, medical transportation, diabetes mellitus, and cardiac care standards. All materials were published in English and Arabic.
Development of Certification Programs and Certification of Health Care Professionals
JHAP prepared the curricula, instructor guides, PowerPoint slides, and handout material for six certification courses targeting various health care professions:
- A Surveyor Training Course to certify professionals who can be contracted by HCAC to conduct its accreditation and certification surveys;
- A Quality Improvement Practitioner Certification Course for quality coordinators and leaders of quality teams or committees responsible for the development of quality plans;
- An Infection Preventionists Certification Course for infection control and prevention nurses or coordinators; it provides the basic epidemiology, surveillance, and knowledge required to prevent infections;
- A Management and Leadership Certification Course to train public hospital directors in the basic concepts of leadership and management;
- A Risk Management Certification Course for hospital risk managers, quality coordinators, and others directly involved in establishing patient safety programs in health care facilities; and
- The HCAC Consultant Certification Course to prepare certified HCAC surveyors to serve as consultants to provide technical assistance to health care organizations to meet the HCAC standards and prepare such organizations for accreditation surveys.
By the end of the project, HCAC had certified 117 health care professionals through the courses; enrollment is ongoing.
Accreditation of Health Care Facilities and Programs
JHAP worked with HCAC and the Health System Strengthening-II Project to prepare 25 hospitals and 60 primary health care centers for accreditation. Through JHAP’s assistance, the HCAC Department of Education and Consultation developed 22 educational packages that can be used to prepare facilities for accreditation. At the project closure, 17 hospitals from the public, private, and university sectors and 42 public primary health care centers had been accredited, and two breast imaging centers certified.
April 09, 2013