New system to assess hospitals

 23 Mar 2014 - 3:26


From left: The Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Director at the Supreme Council of Health Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji; Executive Director of Quality Management, Primary Health Care Corporation Dr Hana Said; Consultant Dr Fadi El Jardali, and Accreditation Director, Al Ahli Hospital, David Miller, at a panel discussion. (Salim Matramkot)

DOHA: All hospitals and primary health centres in the country will be required to regularly report to the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) on rare incidents, patient and staff satisfaction, patient safety and laboratory efficiency.
From April 1, public and private health care providers will start implementing the mandatory Health Service Performance Agreement (HSPA) being implemented by the SCH.
The data has been collected as part of a national plan to assess the quality and performance of the health care providers. 
“This new system will help improve health care quality and patient safety,” Dr Faleh Mohamed Hussain Ali, Assistant Secretary General for Policy Affairs at SCH told a news conference on Thursday.
HSPA mandates private and public hospitals to report to the SCH incidents such as hospital deaths, unplanned readmissions within 28 days of discharge related to primary admission and unscheduled returns to the emergency department within 48 hours related to primary visits. 
Hospitals also have to report on waiting time at clinics, staff/ patient satisfaction and experience of staff with patients and turnover rate of health care workers. 
Ten types of incidents are required to be reported about patient and staff safety including sentinel events (any unanticipated event resulting in death or serious injury), medication errors, patient falls rate and percentage of compliance with surgical safety checklist. The number of laboratory results completed in less than an hour, occupancy rate and percentage of cancelled elective surgeries also have to be reported by the hospitals to the SCH on a regular basis. 
Separately, primary health centres will have to report to the SCH on 15 areas including some life style diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, patient safety and satisfaction.  They should also report the percentage of referrals from primary health centres to hospitals, waiting time at clinics, staff turn over, staff satisfaction, patient satisfaction and percentage of laboratory tests completed within less than an hour. 
HSPA will be implemented with a grace period until March 31, 2015. During the initial stage of implementation, the gathered information will not be used to judge a facility nor made public. 
Once the grace period is over SCH will analyse the collected data and compare it with regional and international standards. SCH will also hold discussions with the health care providers about any specific issues found from the analysis. Then solutions will be found and implemented to overcome the issues and improve healthcare quality.  The SCH will interfere in exceptional cases that pose a high risk for the patients. All information provided by the healthcare provider will be kept confidentially. 
“SCH currently has only limited information for decision making. HSPA was developed and will be implemented to meet the need for a reporting system in Qatar,” said Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety Director at the SCH. 
“HSPA is a critical tool for collecting timely, relevant and reliable health care information for the governance of the health system in Qatar. Key clauses and indicators of the HSPA were developed based on local documents and international evidence,” he added.    
The Peninsula