Insuring the Qualifications of International Medical Facilities
Ensuring the quality, education, and expertise of any healthcare provider prior to receiving healthcare services, treatments or procedures is essential. This is especially true of individuals considering international travel to a variety of popular medical destinations around the world. Because of the increasing popularity of international medical travel, organizations from around the world are addressing quality of care issues, safety issues, and attempting to set standards, policy, and best practices for healthcare facilities and providers.
In the United States, one of the preeminent accreditation and quality service standard setting organizations is called the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies healthcare facilities, hospitals, clinics, and care centers throughout the United States. The international arm of this organization, called the Joint Commission International, has been working to help provide quality standards of care throughout the world, and since 1994 has worked with health departments and organizations in over 80 countries. The focus of the Joint Commission International is to improve safety of patient care through certification and accreditation processes and services.
The ISQua, or the International Society for Quality in Health Care provides added assurance that processes involving training and standards used by JCI in their surveys of organizations meet high international benchmarks.
Why Do Facilities Benefit from a JCI Accreditation?
JCI accreditation carries many advantages to domestic and international medical facilities, hospitals, clinics and providers. JCI:
In order to be accredited by JCI, a healthcare facility, hospital, or clinic must meet standards designed to maintain and improve quality of care.
World Alliance for Patient Safety
In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the World Alliance for Patient Safety in an effort to address issues of quality of care in a multitude of global destinations. Patient safety, infection control, and issues regarding quality of care were dressed by the heads and leaders of WHO agencies, health policy makers, and representatives from patient advocacy groups around the globe to advance goals in patient safety, as well as to reduce unsafe healthcare practices.
The World Alliance for Patient Safety was created and assigned to the task of increasing awareness as well as commitments from political and health organizations around the world to improve healthcare facilities, safety, and develop policy and practices for patient safety for all countries and states that belong to the World Health Organization.
The WHO agenda includes actions such as:
The Best in High-Tech
The ISO, (International Organization for Standardization) also provides international standards of care that offer economic and technological benefits for society. Medical travelers who venture to destinations that provide ISO technologies and standards can be assured they are receiving the best in services, techniques and procedures provided by a wealth of high-tech equipment and training. International standards ensure that equipment and facilities comprise state-of-the-art technology, and expertise and experience in their use. ISO standards offer consumers the assurance that equipment and technology that may be used to provide services is safe, reliable, and high quality.
When choosing any medical facility or provider, ask questions about accreditation and certification. More international healthcare facilities from around the world are seeking accreditation by organizations like JCI in order to compete in healthcare fields and industries in the 21st century.
As more individuals from around the world travel to foreign destinations for healthcare, issues such as quality of care, accreditation, certification, experience and expertise are becoming vital issues that will help set superlative standards and policies that provide the best of care for any patient, regardless of destination or medical procedure.