Featured Care Areas
How do you determine the quality of healthcare provided by different hospitals?
One way of doing so is by looking out for accreditation seals. Simply put, accreditation seals are seals awarded by organisations specialised in assessing the quality of hospitals. Hospitals accredited with these seals usually live up to internationally recognised standards.
If a hospital is accredited, it means that the hospital has been thoroughly assessed and found to have met rigorous evidence-based standards. In the process of accreditation, these hospitals would have had to constantly assess and improve their existing systems and structures (eg. admission procedure, patient care experience).
Only hospitals who meet the standards receive an accreditation seal, an indication of their quality.
One of the bodies which awards hospital accreditation is the Joint Commission International (JCI). The JCI checks the qualifications and experience of the doctors and staff members in that hospital. The accreditation is also based on the cleanliness of the hospitals and for well-equipped clinical laboratory. Hospitals who meet all the criteria will be awarded the coveted JCI accreditation.
The JCI seal can be said to be the most prestigious of all accreditation seals. A leader of healthcare accreditation, JCI assesses the commitment of healthcare organisations to quality healthcare and patient safety.
Hospitals typically spend 18 – 24 months preparing for the assessment, during which they embark on a rigorous 10-step process to assess and upgrade the various systems in place (eg. measures for containing infection, contingency plans etc.) to meet the strictest requirements.
This is where patient care, experience and safety is assessed.
During the assessment, a consultant will be on the site to follow the entire process of care of selected patients from the point of admission to the point of discharge. The consultant will:
This is where the organisation is assessed for:
During the assessment, JCI consultants will:
Ultimately, JCI accredited hospitals:
To keep up with the ever-changing standards of healthcare, hospitals would have to apply for re-accreditation every 3 years. The JCI standards are also constantly refined based on international field reviews and input from experts with unique content knowledge.
The JCI accreditation is helmed as the gold standard of healthcare. It reflects the organisation's commitment to achieve and maintain high performance standards.
As a patient, you may see the gold seal on the premises or communication materials of JCI-accredited organisations such as Mount Elizabeth Hospitals. It is regarded as a sign of the organisation's commitment to deliver quality care with patient safety at the forefront.
The most common and well-known ISO standard is probably the ISO 9001, a general quality management system standard that can be applied to healthcare. Hospitals with ISO 9001 accreditation are committed to implementing the most effective and efficient system to the benefit of patients.
Hospitals that are accredited with ISO 9001 should have:
The path to accreditation would also require hospitals to review their existing systems and upgrade them to meet ISO standards.
The quality of healthcare is only as good as the healthcare workers in the hospitals. Doctors and nurses who are recipients of prestigious awards are likely to be top in their field, and have provided excellent care to patients. But which awards are a reliable indicator of quality? Here's a list of awards recognised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Singapore.
National Medical Excellence Awards (NMEA)
Consisting of 6 categories of awards, these national awards are given to outstanding healthcare professionals who have contributed to the advancement of healthcare, improved the standards of patient safety, and provided quality care.
Singapore Health Quality Service Award
Key to your recovery is also the care given to you by healthcare workers. This award is the first in Singapore to honour healthcare professionals who deliver top-notch care and first-rate service to patients.
President's Award for Nurses
This national award is given to recognise outstanding nurses and laud them for their immense contribution to the profession and the community.
Nurses' Merit Award
This is awarded to nurses who have constantly performed above expectations for 3 consecutive years, actively sought to develop themselves professionally and made contributions to the nursing profession.
If you're undecided between the many hospitals in Singapore, start by researching what the different hospitals can offer. Check to see if the hospitals are recipients of any quality seals, and if they have recognised healthcare specialists in the field you require treatment in. If they do, you can be certain when you enter the hospital that you'll be in good hands.