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National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers

B.K. Rana

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National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) is a constituent board of Quality Council of India, set up to establish and operate accreditation programme for healthcare organizations. The board is structured to cater to much desired needs of the consumers and to set benchmarks for progress of health industry. The board while being supported by all stakeholders including industry, consumers, government, have full functional autonomy in its operation.

Accreditation "A public recognition of the achievement of accreditation standards by a healthcare organization, demonstrated through an independent external peer assessment of that organization’s level of performance in relation to the standards".

Accreditation benefits all stake holders. Patients are the biggest beneficiary. Accreditation results in high quality of care and patient safety. The patients get services by credential medical staff. Rights of patients are respected and protected. Patient satisfaction is regularly evaluated.

The staff in an accredited hospital is satisfied lot as it provides for continuous learning, good working environment, leadership and above all ownership of clinical processes.

Accreditation to a hospital stimulates continuous improvement. It enables hospital in demonstrating commitment to quality care. It raises community confidence in the services provided by the hospital. It also provides opportunity to healthcare unit to benchmark with the best.

Finally, accreditation provides an objective system of empanelment by insurance and other third parties. Accreditation provides access to reliable and certified information on facilities, infrastructure and level of care.

NABH standards for hospitals have been drafted by Technical committee of NABH and contain complete set of standards for evaluation of hospitals for grant of accreditation. The standards provide framework for quality assurance and quality improvement for hospitals. The standards focus on patient safety and quality of care. The standards call for continuous monitoring of sentinel events and comprehensive corrective action plan leading to building of quality culture at all levels and across all the functions. The standards are equally applicable to hospitals and nursing homes in the government as well as in the private sector.

Outline of NABH Standards Access, Assessment and continuity of Care (AAC) Patient Rights and Education (PRE) Care of Patient (COP) Management of Medication (MOM) Hospital Infection control (HIC) Continuous Quality Improvement (CIQ) Responsibility of Management (ROM) Facility Management and Safety (FMS) Human Resource Management (HRM) Information Management System

The Accreditation process involves comprehensive review of hospital’s compliance with NABH’s standards. Cardinal principles of assessment are;

  1. Hospital operations are based on sound principles of system based organization
  2. NABH standards are implemented and institutionalize into hospital functioning.
  3. Patient safety and quality of care, as core values, are established and owned by management and staff in all functions and at all levels.
  4. There is structured quality improvement programme based on continuous monitoring of patient care services.

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