Friday, March 24

NMSC is certified Joint Commission International-accredited hospital


KUCHING: Normah Medical Specialist Centre (NMSC) has been certified as a Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospital with Gold Seal of approval.

The JCI accreditation is a gold standard in the global health care community. A health care organisation that has met JCI’s exacting standards can proudly display the Gold Seal of Approval as a sign of the distinctive accomplishment.

The Gold Seal of Approval enhances the status of the health care organisation among patients, and clearly sets them apart from the competitors. It also receives the universal respect of other providers, businesses, government ministries and insurance companies.

The certification of NMSC as a JCI-accredited hospital was celebrated yesterday during a ceremony officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang.

Besides being a JCI-accredited hospital, Normah is also a Malaysian Society for Quality in Health-accredited hospital.

In his welcoming address, NMSC chief executive officer and managing director Dato Dr Au Yong Kien Hoe said to be a JCI-accredited hospital, JCI had set a list of 14 standards that were broadly divided into patient-centred standards and hospital-centred standards, with about 1,300 measurable elements.

“What you do is you implement the standards and audit them to make sure they are being done in a proper manner,” he said.

In citing an example, patient safety and identifier in the operating theatre, he said, the standards, process and procedures were implemented to make sure mistakes won’t happen.

“Errors do happen. Doctors and nurses in hospitals are human being. We accept that mistake can be made. But how do we prevent these mistakes? The key is implementing standard and following this procedure because this procedure allows you to manage things like a checklist before a plane takes off, there is a safety checklist. It is the same principle.”

Dr Au Yong said before the patient is operated, there is a process called ‘time out’ where t all the doctors, nurses and everyone involve with the patient get around each other to verify the patient’s identity as well as the surgery to be performed.

“That time out is important because even though you have already seen the patient in the ward and you have decided that he is going to have this surgery, mistake can happen.”

In noting that the best way to prevent a mistake in a hospital is ‘redundancy’, he said this process requires between three and four staff to verify and check the patients before something is done on them.

He believed this is the only way which a hospital can ensure safety for the patients.

Dr Au Yong said patients walking into NMSC now – from registration all the way to every department in the hospital – would be able to find checks and standards being applied that are no different than if they walk into hospitals in the USA because they are also applying the same JCI standards.

“But the difference is even though we do the same procedure and process one bypass surgery in the US costs US$100,000. One bypass surgery in Normah costs RM35,000. That’s the difference. But we are okay with it because our goal is to ensure the highest standard of practice for the patients at the lowest cost.”

He added they would  treat a patient for free if they have to and would not turn anyone down.