What is Accreditation and why is it Important?
WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?
At a very general level, accreditation is a voluntary process by which institutions meet standards established by an external accrediting body. In the context of healthcare and medical tourism, the referred to “institutions” would usually be hospitals and clinics, and the “accrediting body” would refer to an organization such as the Joint Commission International (JCI), Global Healthcare Accreditation (GHA), or another agency that is recognized by the International Society for Quality in Health Care Inc. (ISQua).
According to ISQua: “accreditation is a formal process to ensure delivery of safe, high quality health care based on standards and processes devised and developed by health care professionals for health care services. It is also a public recognition of achievement by a healthcare organization, of requirements of national healthcare standards.”
DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF THE MEDICAL TOURISM HOSPITAL I CHOOSE IS ACCREDITED?
Accreditation is one of the game changers in healthcare, and one of the determinants in making healthcare decisions. Accreditation stands healthcare providers out as having met rigorous standards of quality, safety, and excellent patient experience.
With accreditations, such as GHA’s Accreditation for Medical Travel, patients and health payers have an unequivocal evaluation of a hospital or medical travel destination’s capacity to provide quality healthcare solutions and deliver excellent experience across all the touchpoints of care.
Therefore, you do not have to rely on hearsay or reviews to make your medical travel decisions; you can simply look out for GHA’s seal and accreditation, and that shapes your decision of which destination to look out for.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ACCREDITATION?
For medical tourists and health payers, accreditation offers assurance that high standards of safety and quality of care are in place. Accreditation shows that a hospital or clinic cares about delivering quality services to its customers. It also shows an organization's commitment to global best practices of care, especially for international patients. This, in turn, gives health payers and buyers value for their money
For medical tourism programs, accreditation drives inbound tourism and access to more clients as it builds brand visibility and expands their client base. As one of the major determinants in the new normal of medical travel, accreditation sets apart the mediocre from those who deliver excellence along all the touchpoints of care.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE MEDICAL TOURISM HOSPITAL I AM GOING TO IS ACCREDITED?
Most hospitals will usually display accreditation information prominently on their websites. In the case of Joint Commission International accreditation, you can check to see if a hospital is accredited at http://www.jointcommissioninternational.org.
Also, hospitals accredited by the Global Healthcare Accreditation display the accreditation seal of the GHA clearly on their websites and hospital buildings, so prospective clients can clearly tell. Further, the GHA website has a list of medical programs, institutions, and organizations that have met these standards and have been awarded the accreditation.
IF THE HOSPITAL IS ACCREDITED DOES THIS MEAN MY PHYSICIAN IS ACCREDITED?
No it does not; however, if a hospital is accredited by the GHA, it demonstrates that its physicians and surgeons have the required qualifications and expertise to deliver excellent care. GHA Accreditation for Medical Travel covers healthcare programs and institutions and does not translate to individual accreditation or licensure of healthcare professionals.
However, with the GHA’s Certified Medical Travel Professional, individuals, including physicians, and medical travel facilitators looking to gain extra skills and targeted expertise in medical travel can demonstrate these. This certification demonstrates an individual’s skill and knowledge in navigating the continuum of care in medical travel and help medical tourists achieve the best results.