Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Hospital accreditation will focus on patients: minister

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) yesterday said the hospital accreditation system is to be simplified, with explicit assessment items focused on “patient-centered” medical treatment, starting next year at local and regional hospitals.

The new government established a reform task force, as the hospital accreditation system, originally established to ensure that hospitals provide good healthcare, has in recent years been widely criticized by medical professionals, who say a requirement to complete complicated paperwork adds to their workloads.

Lin made the announcement at noon, shortly after the seventh meeting of the task force at the ministry yesterday morning.

“The goal is to make sensible reform by reducing stress on healthcare providers, and focusing on patient safety and medical quality,” Lin said.

He said unnecessary assessment items would be excluded from the hospital accreditation process, allowing healthcare providers to concentrate on treatment and care.

Ueng Wen-neng (翁文能), the convener of the reform task force and superintendent of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s branch in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口), said the accreditation system has contributed to improvements in overall healthcare quality over the past two decades, but it has gradually become more complicated, causing significant stress for hospital administrators and medical professionals.

The task force concluded that assessments should have a “patient-centered” focus, including having evaluation committee members observe frontline medical treatment, instead of assessments based on files and reports, Ueng said.

Assessments would be made of teams, instead of individuals, so that healthcare providers are not overly stressed, he said, adding that committee members would be able to view treatment from the perspective of patients.

Ueng said the new accreditation system would be divided into two levels: a “general assessment” for local and regional hospitals; and a “sophisticated assessment” for medical centers with stricter standards.

However, as assessment of medical facilities is ongoing and scheduled to be completed next year, reforms would not be implemented at local and regional hospitals until next year, with the new system to be implemented at medical centers in 2018.

Lin said the ministry plans to submit a draft of the hospital accreditation system by the end of the month, hold talks with medical professionals and make a final announcement by September.

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