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Hospitals may need to comply to quality standards soon

The Quality Council of India is seeking help from corporates for elevating quality standards in hospitals. It is planning to ask corporate houses to make quality certification mandatory before empanelling hospitals for providing medical benefits to their respective employees. This move is aimed at spreading awareness about the importance of hospital accreditation and for getting more hospitals certified by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH), a constituent board of QCI. At present, about 95% hospitals in India, including the bigger ones such as Breach Candy, Jaslok Hospital, P D Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai and S L Gangaram in New Delhi, do not have NABH accreditation. Girdhar J Gyani, chief utive officer, NABH, said, “Focusing on intermediaries like corporate houses is the most effective way of increasing awareness about the importance of quality assessment of hospitals.” Not having a certification may hamper the inflow of patients from big companies and affect the reputation of the hospital. “This model will be successful in the long run and can only be implemented in a phased manner, as presently we have very few NABH accredited hospitals to be chosen from,” said Vishal Bali, chief utive officer, Wockhardt Hospitals Group. As of now, there are only 10 NABH certified hospitals in the country and QCI expects to add another 15 by 2009-end. “This is a progressive idea to help upgrade the quality of care provided by the Indian hospitals. We believe that accreditation is crucial and also plan apply for NABH certification shortly,” said a senior faculty member from Hinduja. “Jaslok is prepared with the requisites and has already applied for NABH certification. We expect to receive the certification in 6-8 months time,” said Brigadier Saroj Mukherjee, chief medical officer, Jaslok Hospital. Accreditation is slowly becoming mandatory for hospitals, who are targeting more clients, both Indian and foreign. And if QCI’s proposed model becomes a government policy, hospitals will definitely have to take heed, she added. QCI also plans to reach out to the tier 2 and tier 3 cities. It has roped in associations like CII, FICCI and Assocham to conduct awareness programmes on accreditation for hospitals in these cities. QCI then plans to focus on intermediaries like corporate houses and insurance agencies, and in the last phase will approach the consumer bodies to reach out to the last segment of the chain-the patient.

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