August 2009

Seeking Credibility for ‘A Credence Good’- Conference on ‘Accreditation of Hospitals’ organised by CII in New Delhi on July 4, 2009

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Conference on “Accreditation of Hospitals”organised by CII in New Delhi on July 4, 2009

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with QCI/NABH organised one day seminar on “Accreditation of Hospitals” to sensitise all the stakeholders about the need and benefits of accreditation, which is still in its nascent stages in India.

The seminar was chaired by Dr. Girdhar J Gyani, secretary general, QCI and the speakers at the seminar were from the regulatory bodies, private and government accredited hospitals and healthcare industry among others. The delegates participating in the seminar were from across the industry verticals, government and private hospitals, medical colleges, architecture colleges, healthcare consultants, insurance providers, banks, IT and NGOs among others.

The seminar consisted of four sessions: Background for the preparation of CII report; Accreditation of hospitals in India; Need and status of accreditation and accreditation bodies in India; and Accreditation: Different perspectives and process for obtaining accreditation.

. . . once accreditation becomes widespread, the need to differentiate and establish a favourable price equation will emerge as a prime imperative for hospitals.

The seminar saw a consensus emerging between the speakers and the delegates, that once accreditation becomes widespread, the need to differentiate and establish a favourable price equation will emerge as a prime imperative for hospitals. The stress was on the benefits of accreditation which would improve patient care and boost consumer confidence. The panelist suggested that mandatory accreditation of hospitals was on the anvil as healthcare providers faced greater competition. A five-point agenda outlined by the CII for this includes the need for creating awareness among healthcare providers about the benefits; greater role of the government in accreditation of public hospitals; pre-packaged accreditation programmes to facilitate cost-effective implementation; and the role of industry and the necessity of grading.

Acknowledging that the concept is still confined to metros, Prof. Ranjit Roy Chaudhury, Chairman, CII Healthcare Sub-Committee on Standardization and Quality, said it was necessary to look into the steps that would carry the process further in semi-urban and rural areas. Saying that accreditation and quality are two sides of the same coin, Dr Gyani appreciated the recent move by the government that diagnostic laboratories are to be accredited by NABL for empanelment with CGHS. Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals, described accreditation as a risk reduction strategy. Dr Ajit K Nagpal, Chairman, CII Healthcare Sub-committee on PPP and Chairman, Batra Hospital, asserted that medicine was ‘a credence good,’ thereby accreditation would help in measuring a product that was based on credibility in the marketplace. He said the lead role taken by the CII would go a long way in setting high standards for health care. The seminar also highlighted the processes required for accreditation. The discussions enabled delegates from the healthcare industry to draw up a checklist to further quality standards in their institutions.

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