US accreditation organisation Joint Commission International (JCI) last week announced a three-year continuation of a partnership with Italy’s Lombardy Regional Health Service (RHS).
The aim of the partnership is to analyse the quality of care in that region’s 190 public and private hospitals and to standardise the continuity of care between the hospitals, the 15 local health authorities (LHAs) which govern the hospitals, and community-based services and healthcare organisations.
The project also includes a transfer of know-how to the LHAs to provide constant monitoring of the system and quality improvement projects.
Building on a set of about 60 JCI standards implemented between 2004 and 2007, JCI will help RHS-accredited hospitals to identify and implement a new set of standards and measure and self-assess outcomes.
In addition to the care continuum, the new standards will focus largely on improving patient safety, with a strong emphasis on the international patient safety goals, patient safety solutions, the assessment and care of patients in high risk settings, such as anaesthesia and surgical care, and medication management.
The partnership’s goal is to achieve better qualitative performances and improve the effective transfer and care of patients among all health care organisations in the Lombardy RHS.
Dr Luciano Bresciani, Lombardy Region Health Minister, said:
“The Lombardy Region is proud of the project in partnership with the Joint Commission International, which signals another point in favour of the citizens of the territory.
“Therefore, this new project we are inaugurating with JCI pushes us to demand even more from our own health system, taking quality monitoring directly to the patient.”
JCI first partnered with Lombardy in 2004 as part of the region’s initial effort to develop a consolidated health care assessment system among its public and private hospitals.
The new phase of this partnership will continue until 2010, with the priorities being the development and consolidation of quality programmes, educating hospitals on assessment techniques and promotion and dissemination of quality projects for the continuity of patient care services.
Joint Commission International
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“I think this is very disappointing. One would very much hope that European healthcare provision bodies would not need to look towards the USA for this type of alliance, and especially government-run healthcare services since the USA’s own record on government-provided healthcare provision is so very poor. It is worth bearing in kind that JCI is also expensive, and is not open about the costs it charges for surveying and accrediting hospitals – see – http://joint-commission.blogspot.com/2008/02/jci-how-much-do-they-charge… – There are already excellent (and more cost-effective) options for hospital accreditation within the European Union, such as the Trent Accreditation Scheme in the United Kingdom and the French Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) scheme, and hopefully in the future European healthcare systems will look towards Europe itself to obtain these types of services before going to America.” – Name and address supplied