Premium Status for Meritorious Hospitals

Several top-ranking hospitals have claimed their services are above national standards. Several top-ranking hospitals have claimed their services are above national standards.

Hospitals that claim above-standard quality of services can apply for a ‘premium ranking’ after being subjected to a new round of evaluation, said an official at the Health Ministry.

Hospitals in Iran are classified under a ranking system from one to four, based on which fees are determined.

Following the release of the latest evaluation, hospitals that topped the ranking list have claimed that the quality of services they offer are above the national norm and say they deserve a higher ranking.

“As a result, a new threshold has been defined, called ‘premium ranking’ with new criteria,” Mohammad Aqajani, deputy for treatment affairs at the Health Ministry, was quoted by IRNA as saying.

He said top ranking hospitals had been apprised of the criteria two weeks ago and will be reassessed in another round of evaluations.

“The results will be released by the end of next week,” he added.

The hospital accreditation process was initiated a decade ago but entered a new phase last year when the ministry devised a new set of criteria.

Close to 900 benchmarks were set by a team of experts, including patients’ satisfaction, safety of hospital buildings, rate of medical errors, quality of hospital stay facilities and adherence to environmental regulations such as waste management.

Assessment of all hospitals in the country (around 900 including 350 private) with the new standards began in January and was completed in six months. Primary reports were sent to medical centers in June.

“A number of hospitals objected to the results, whose cases were reviewed and the final verdicts were sent to all centers last week,” Aqajani said.

Fourteen hospitals managed get the highest rating and the number has stayed the same compared to the previous round of assessments, said the official.

Of this number, some centers are applicants for premium ranks.

Since quality of medical services is key, hospitals’ assessments are carried out annually, which may see a hospital rise or fall in ranking.

If a hospital falls to a lower rank, its tariffs will be reduced and consequently its revenue will suffer. The measure is meant to help encourage medical centers  maintain and enhance quality.

Standardization of services offered in hospitals is one of the three goals of the 2014 Health Reform Plan and accreditation is the best means of achieving this goal.

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