Changes in Hospital Evaluation Procedures

Changes in Hospital Evaluation Procedures Changes in Hospital Evaluation Procedures

The assessment process and credentialing of hospitals in the country will undergo major changes from the next calendar year that starts on March 20, 2016, said Mohammad Aqajani, deputy for treatment services at the Health Ministry.

Revisions will also be made to clinical guidelines, regulations on treatment and the methods to raise the level further on par with global standards, he said.

“There is no common definition of a standardized hospital in Iran. To attain hospital standards we standardize medical services and practices,” he told IRNA.

Aqajani said that standardization of medical services is one of the main criteria of hospital accreditation and this is done in two ways: providing a standard treatment path (clinical guidelines), and direct assessment and credentialing hospitals.

“The latter will commence from next year with a new and updated method,” he said.

Enforcing standard patterns of treatment through guidelines is a difficult procedure and calls for close collaboration of insurance companies, medical associations, groups and specialist boards in various medical areas, said Aqajani, adding that about 400 guidelines have been compiled and are ready to be sent to medical institutions.

The process of hospital evaluation will also see a marked change. Instead of mere documentation, hospital activities and services along with patients’ level of satisfaction with treatment facilities and services will be evaluated and assessed.

So far, the process of hospital assessment was based on their physical structures, medical and hospital infrastructure and the certifications provided.

The new assessment method will include criteria such as the level of hospital infections, probable treatment side effects, effectiveness of treatment, and other services provided for the patients. Hospitals that offer a safer environment to patients and more effective treatment, will obtain higher grades.

Aqajani emphasized that the new method will optimize medical services since a higher grade would mean higher medical tariffs and more revenues.

Hospital credentialing is done as per the criteria laid down by the Health Ministry under a national assessment system. Hospitals that accept foreign patients should go through the international credentialing process.

Currently, there are about 900 hospitals in Iran, 570 of which are state-owned or state affiliated.  Iran’s healthcare sector was valued at $26.44 billion in 2011, growing to $28.13 billion in 2012. The total healthcare spending was $24.3 billion in 2008, which increased to $50 billion by 2013, reflecting the increasing demand for medical and health services.