Over the last few decades the healthcare sector in Jordan has become a key engine of economic growth, despite the various challenges facing the country. It has developed to position Jordan as a pioneer of healthcare. The healthcare sector has also progressed to place Jordan as a medical tourism hub in the region; excelling in terms of technology and quality of services.
Around the world tremendous focus is put on defining and evaluating quality as an outcome of healthcare in view of the challenges posed by globalization, increased demand and expectations and development of new performance indicators. Among these new indicators are those addressing improved clinical practice, quality of care and consumer satisfaction; all of which are factors that are universally addressed by healthcare accreditation.
To meet these global developments, the HCAC was created in line with these global demands and trends. It was created as a national resource and steward of promoting quality in healthcare along with the potential to be a key “export product” as well as a regional support entity.
The Health Care Accreditation Council was registered as an independent, non-profit private shareholding company in December 2007. It is a distinctly national investment characterized by the unity of stakeholders in regards to healthcare quality and patient safety.
The HCAC has on its Board of Directors the major providers of healthcare in Jordan: the Ministry of Health, Royal Medical Services, Private Hospital Association, university teaching hospitals and the professional healthcare syndicates and associations. In addition to these, there is representation from the communities of academia, law, business and economic sectors.
HCAC was conceived as a joint initiative from the Ministry of Health and the USAID under the Jordan Health Accreditation Project (JHAP). JHAP worked with all the different healthcare sectors for at least 2 years in order to develop hospital accreditation standards and to establish HCAC. JHAP worked to develop the HCAC’s technical and financial capacity to become the leader and key propagator of continuous healthcare quality improvement in Jordan and the region.
The HCAC business model and governance structure was developed to mimic international based models of credible independent accreditation bodies. This assured sector-wide representation and evenhandedness without compromising the credibility of the accreditation processes and decisions the HCAC takes. This is the critical success factor of any healthcare accreditation body.
The mission and goal of the HCAC is to promote continuous quality improvement and excellence in healthcare services through the philosophy and process of health care accreditation by the following:
- To establish, revise, classify and disseminate National Health Care Standards for healthcare facilities and programs which meet the requirements of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua)
- To help health care facilities and providers to understand the meaning of Health Care Standards
- To certify surveyors and to survey facilities and programs against established standards and recommend an accreditation award
- To continuously improve the quality and safety of health care services
Through our mission, the HCAC is committed to serving Clients by providing an accreditation program, education, information and quality measurement services which help them provide a better service for the benefit of patients. HCAC serves Consumers by developing standards and processes that reflect their expectations of quality and safety and also Funders, Policy makers and the Jordanian public by giving them confidence in quality of the services provided by accredited providers.
The HCAC accreditation philosophy views the accreditation process as an ongoing drive for continuous improvement in which health care facilities and professionals become the managers of their own development and the process.
In this manner as they progress step by step through the various phases: starting from self assessment to detection of areas of improvement to subsequent monitoring, which takes on the most important role in the HCAC accreditation model.
The HCAC is at hand with health care facilities in the entire process and provides the facilities and the professionals with the tools and skills they require to drive their institutions towards continuous quality improvement.
In Jordan, hospital accreditation is voluntary and therefore the presence of an accreditation body like the HCAC – which is internationally recognized by ISQua – will serve to broaden the quality base in healthcare across all sectors. It will serve to expand this quality culture throughout the healthcare continuum ensuring healthcare quality at every point of contact in the Jordanian healthcare system.
To this end, the HCAC has also developed accreditation standards for Primary Healthcare and is in the process of establishing standards and an accreditation program for Breast Cancer Screening, Emergency Medical Transportation services as well as for Cardiac Care.
As an accreditation organization, the status of the HCAC is unique within the region; where it is the only independent, not for profit, health care accreditation body to have achieved ISQua accreditation of its hospital standards and has also achieved membership of the ISQua Accreditation Council which oversees accreditation bodies. In doing so, the HCAC joins a league of international and long standing accreditation organizations and bolsters its international recognition and affiliations.
Commitment & Vision
Our commitment to health care quality and patient safety is broad and inherent to the HCAC mission and vision and therefore our activities expand above and beyond accreditation programs. HCAC demonstrates this commitment by outlining national patient safety and quality goals and we offer a two year certification program to hospitals that meet the criteria and show that their health care organizations consistently meet these goals.
As a national effort based on international principles and best practices, the HCAC offers a unique set of advantages on both the Jordanian and regional levels:
- Presence of set Hospital Standards (and in the future for other health care services and facilities) that are ISQua accredited
- A standardized mechanism for assessing quality and safety in healthcare facilities and services based on national consensus
- Quick response by a supporting body that has full- time presence in the region
- Understanding and hands-on experience of the local and regional issues of health care
- Unique bilingual (Arabic/English) communication and support for the target groups
- HCAC peer based surveys conducted by certified surveyors
Leveraging the hands on experience of the HCAC and our international affiliations and exposure to international top practices; the HCAC can additionally provide a broad range of consultation services beyond accreditation of healthcare facilities:
- Advise regional governments and private organizations how to establish a national accreditation system
- Advise governments and private organizations how to write standards
- Establish Surveyor Certification Programs based on established standards of survey standards
- Instruct national consultants to help hospitals to prepare facilities for accreditation
August 2009 marked the first year anniversary of the official launch of the HCAC, and during these 12 months, the HCAC has sprung to life and is significantly adding to the value proposition of Health Care Quality in Jordan. Our tag line is “National Effort at International Levels” and the achievements of this busy year have been a true testament to our motto, with major accomplishments.
HCAC completed Accreditation of three additional hospitals from the public and private sectors based on compliance to HCAC standards; thereby bringing the number of HCAC accredited hospitals in Jordan to five thus far.
It publishes the Second Edition of the HCAC Hospitals Standards and successfully completed two hospital surveyor courses and certification of two groups of hospital surveyors from Jordan who will serve as quality ambassadors in their health care organizations in addition to being one of the core elements for the accreditation process.
The HCAC has also initiated the necessary steps to complete the accreditation of all its programs by ISQua through filing for accreditation of the HCAC Surveyor program and the HCAC organization. When this is accomplished, the HCAC will be the only accreditation body in the region to obtain all the ISQua accreditations and among the only five in the world to achieve the three ISQua accreditations for accrediting bodies.
Accreditation is one of several means by which health service performance may be evaluated and improved. We aim to complement the work of many in this regard through the HCAC accreditation programs. Our objective is to increase the quality of and safety of care by providing organizational frameworks for minimizing risk, evaluating performance and implementing improvements.
The HCAC surveyors look for evidence of activities, systems and processes that support the achievement of required outcomes for patients, employees and the community. The fact that a hospital or healthcare facility has undergone an HCAC survey and successfully obtained HCAC accreditation shows an extraordinary commitment to provide safe, high quality care and willingness to be measured against the highest standards of performance.
As we move forward in our journey we will focus on continually improving our operations and our services to ensure a long and bright future for the HCAC. We will continue to provide the health care community – for the sake of our main beneficiary: the patients – with tools, solutions and the technical expertise necessary for making health care healthier, which is what our stakeholders expect from us.
As we move ahead, our success will not only be measured by the number of HCAC accredited facilities but by the impact we make for patients and the community through raising the level of quality and safety of health care services. This, HCAC believes, is the way forward in our long term aspiration to contribute significantly to all the efforts that are directed at making Jordan a global hub of healthcare excellence.
May Abuhamdia is a pharmacist with an MPH and MBA in International Marketing and is a member of the ISQua Accreditation Council. Currently, she holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC) since 2008 and functions as the first CEO of the HCAC.
Her key areas of expertise are in strategic planning and business development and marketing. May’s contributions thus far to HCAC have been to set the strategic plan and direction of the HCAC, create the basis for long term business platforms and to increase HCAC visibility as well as to position it as a regional healthcare accreditation body in the Middle East.
More information on HCAC and contact details can be found at www.hcac.jo