Medical tourism facilitators have been a critical instrument in availing of top-quality medical care across borders. As the world becomes smaller and global connections become more tech-driven and simple, health consumers are looking beyond their borders to seek cheap, and top-notch medical care that comes at amazingly cheap prices.
However, with the seismic changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in people’s lives and the greater priority people now place on their well-being and health, there are greater demands on the quality of medical travel offerings. In the past, due to the poor regulation of the industry, international patients have been tossed and turned by every wave of medical tourism facilitators, some of which do not meet their end of the bargain and leave medical tourists high and dry in a foreign country, receiving subpar treatment. In the new era, patients demand more.
This is why the Global Healthcare Accreditation launched the GHA Medical Travel Facilitator Certification to raise the bar in the industry and refine medical tourism processes and offer international patients premium value for their money.
The Certification is aimed at rebuilding trust in medical travel businesses and improving patient experience. The Certification is increasingly becoming a tool not only with which health payers and consumers gauge the performance and quality of a medical tourism facilitator, but also one that is driving more patient flow across borders.
The Certification assesses facilitators across 15 competencies or elements, including:
● Leadership and management roles and responsibilities
● Facilitator commitment statement
● Client Services
● Strategic planning, goals, objectives, and targets
● Oversight of Outside contracts and agreements
● Sustainability and quality improvement
● Risk management
● Business ethics
● Cultural competency and language assistance
● Staffing, staff training, and competency
● Financial transparency
● Marketing transparency
● Client communication and education
● Safeguarding clients’ protected personal information
● Documentation management
Essentially, these are the core components of effective medical tourism facilitation, and all 15 elements are interwoven and interdependent. Having robust competencies across all elements positions a medical tourism agent to deliver value for health payers and buyers, and demonstrates to them that they are ahead in the business. This, in turn, builds trust and confidence in health consumers and payers, increasing growth for all medical tourism businesses in the continuum of care.
Undoubtedly, having the Medical Travel Facilitator Certification is a game changer for stakeholders and it comes with enormous benefits for facilitators; these include:
Enhance Patient Experience: The Medical Travel Facilitator Certification helps to sharpen the tools of the trade. Enhancing all 15 core competencies of medical travel facilitation means agencies are committed to doing the adequate groundwork to ensure patients access care with the best medical providers for their needs. This Certification also demonstrates to clients and health payers that you are committed to safeguarding their health and safety along their care journey.
Third-party Validation: The Medical Travel Facilitator Certification offers third-party validation of your credibility and expertise. In the past, patients relied on internet reviews and anecdotes to assess the quality of a medical tourism agency’s services and also the quality of service of other medical travel businesses; however, with the seal and medical travel certification, patients can trust that your offerings and all the tourism businesses you partner with are committed to the success of the patient care journey and are not just in for the profits.
Brand Visibility: In the post-pandemic era of medical travel, nothing shows a quality brand more than certifications and accreditation. Medical tourism businesses that have obtained the validation of a quality watchdog top the list of searches when it comes to medical travel. With external evaluation and validation of your services and competencies, it’s easier for prospective clients to come across your business and it is also more likely to attract and retain volumes of health payers.
Business Framework: If you have ever wondered how to structure your medical travel facilitation program to adequately meet evolving patient expectations, the Medical Travel Facilitation Certification offers the right training and framework for strategic planning and operations. With the certification, your operations are streamlined along the 15 competencies, making operations easier and more structured.
The certification process is performance-based and comes with complementary comprehensive online training that helps facilitators build as they learn. After registration and verification of the application documents, applicants are able to access a secure online web portal that hosts the Facilitator Certification Handbook and supporting resources.
The eligibility requirements for the application are clear on the Global Healthcare Accreditation website, and they are tailored to ensure only the right business units are engaged in the application process. Essentially, facilitators who desire to get certified must:
● Be a legally incorporated, licensed, or registered entity.
● Have been in operation for at least six (6) months.
● Demonstrate it has at least twenty (20) former or active clients.
● Have an active website.
● Not have any pending legal/liability matters.
The Medical Travel Facilitator Certification has become one of the key differentiators in the post-pandemic medical travel space, and more healthcare providers and medical tourism businesses are investing in achieving these globally recognized third-party validations to improve their business framework and stand out from the competition. This is a win-win for patients and prospective clients, who now have a way to clearly distinguish medical travel facilitators that are committed to excellent service along the patient care journey from those who are just in for profits.
Key into the Medical Travel Facilitator Certification to restructure your program and offer quality service to clients along the continuum of care.