'Hospital Accreditation is Directly Related to Patient'
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28 January 2011
Chairman, Quality Council of India (QCI), Girdhar G Gyani feels that till few years ago, quality in health care was not an issue. Access was a bigger compulsion. But now that there are facilities, its high time to think about quality. Here are the excerpts of his interview to TOI:
Q: How does a patient gain, when a hospital gets accredited?
A: The entire system is directly related to patient well being. In fact 67% of the parameters and standards a hospital needs to fulfil to get itself accredited are from the clinical side. We got a survey done and found that the hospital stay in an accredited hospital had come down to 4.7 days as compared to 5.3 days in an ordinary hospital. Things get systematised in the process, turning concepts of informed consent, protocol or evidence based treatment, a reality which is in the interest of the patient.
Q: What does an NABH accreditation mean to a hospital?
A: It is an open challenge. Achieving the certificate is the first step, maintaining the standards is a bigger goal. It is surely a feather in the hospital's cap. The particular case of RML hospital is a precedent of sorts. Some of its departments also have the potential to become a state of the art tertiary care centre. I suggest formation of a state-level body/agency to monitor, coordinate and build capacity for the hospital holding or eying the QCI certificate.
Q: The Clinical Establishment Act has triggered resentment among doctors. What is your take on this?
A: Doctors primarily seem to be scared of the inspector-raj. But this is not going to happen. There are standards and punishments for those who do not follow the rules. The law-abiding need not be afraid of anything.
Q: A survey on the state of pathology labs in the country was undertaken by QCI. What are some of the key findings?
A: Barring a few, all pathology labs (numbers being 1.25 lakh) in the country are in shambles. And the system calls for a complete overhaul. See, controls are imperative testing. But while small labs were into manual testing, the medium ones were using them even after expiry. So one cannot depend on the reports. We are trying to bridge the gap.