Hospitals around Jordan pledge to implement HCAC National Quality and Patient Safety Goals and work towards establishing "harm free" environments and practices

Amman, Jordan- 08 April 2009 - The Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC) announced the names of more than 30 Jordanian Hospitals from all sectors that will have committed to implementing the HCAC National Quality and Safety Goals (NQSG) for 2009. The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday April 8th, 2009 at HCAC headquarters.

The announcement comes as the first step in nationwide implementation campaign that the HCAC has served as the engine for following launch of "Goals" initiative in February. The HCAC intends its National Quality and Patient Safety Goals initiative to become an iterative activity and commitment in all hospitals that seeks to reduce harm to patients by changing practices in specific areas, based on existing evidence. To this end, HCAC CEO - Dr. May Abuhamdia stated that patient safety is not a process; it is a philosophy by which an organization makes patient care safer. This should involve: risk assessment; the identification and management of patient-related risks; the reporting and analysis of incidents, complaints and claims; and the capacity to learn from and follow-up on incidents and implement solutions to minimize the risk of them recurring.

The HCAC National Quality Goals identify clear steps that lead to tangible improvements in patient safety. Stemming from the HCAC vision where all healthcare facilities will operate at the optimal level of quality and safety, this initiative aims to address important issue of supporting hospitals and other health care organizations in their efforts to build and sustain a culture of continuous quality and patient safety improvement, building on a universal approach and matching with local priorities and needs.

HCAC's first set of National Quality and Safety Goals issued for the year 2009 focus on developing system wide solutions in the following areas: identifying patients correctly, improving the safety of high alert medications, ensuring correct-site, correct-procedure, correct-patient undergoing surgery.

Patient safety in the hospital environment has become a global and regional issue of immense importance around the globe. About 50% of healthcare errors are considered preventable and with an estimated average of 10% of all in-patient visits resulting in some form of unintended harm, the need to tackle patient safety is clear. The increasingly complex interaction between humans and healthcare systems has led to an inevitable risk to patients in the delivery of healthcare services.

The message underpinned in the HCAC National Quality and Safety Goals is built on fundamental concepts: preventable patient harm is unacceptable at any time and that harm to patients is associated with poor clinical outcomes, is a waste of resources and leads to human rights issues and public health problems. The bottom line is that medical errors that don't have to happen are not necessary. Not acceptable.

The implementation plan of the goals include: the enrolment phase, workshop and training phase, grace period for the hospitals to implement these goals, an assessment phase and finally an award ceremony to acknowledge the hospitals that have successfully implemented the all three goals.

While  eliminating or reducing medical errors is the responsibility of all involved in health care service starting with doctors, nurses, and all other hospitals staff, Abuhamdia  stressed that this also includes patients themselves highlighting the need  to  get patients more involved in assuming responsibility of their safety during health care;   as they have the right to question and make sure that the right procedure is being done and that they have correctly been identified for any medical procedure or intervention.

HCAC will assist the enrolled hospitals in adopting the necessary procedures that have been identified to properly implement the NQSG by providing the necessary training and workshops for the hospital staff and administration, in addition to  providing them with educational brochures and leaflets, as well as providing a hot line to answer all inquiries. Hospitals successfully implementing all goals will be certified by the HCAC in an annual ceremony.

The successful future development and implementation of National Quality and Patient Safety Goals will be dependent to a large extent on development of active health information and reporting system. According to Dr. Abuhamdia "we need to encourage reporting of adverse events and near misses by doctors and nurses as errors are actually a form of information about a system, if they're reported. They identify problems that otherwise might never surface leading us to be able to work together to identify strategies to eliminate such practices."

Upon announcement of the hospitals that have pledged  to work towards implementing the HCAC National Quality and Safety Goals - Abuhamdia commended this effort and commitment stating that "Our health care system is committed to improving the quality and safety of the care provided to our country's citizens. That commitment has never been stronger as shown by the dedication of the health care organizations like those whom we are announcing here today. These hospitals realize that safety issues don't "take care of themselves" just because of the good intentions of the staff, they are committed to actively support and implement the processes that will save lives in their organizations"

The hospitals that have committed to implementation of the 2009 HCAC Quality and Safety goals  are: Al-Bashir Hospital, Princess Hamza Hospital, Princess Salma Hospital, AL-Hussein Hospital/ Salt, Princess Badei'a Hospital, Princess Rahma Hospital, Princess Raya Hospital, Jerash Hospital, Eman Hospital/ Ajloun, Mafraq Hospital and Ma'an Hospital from the Ministry of Health. And Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah Centre for Nephrosurgery and Organ transplant, Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Queen Alia Centre for Cardiac Surgery from Royal Medical Services. In addition to Islamic Hospital, Luzmella Hospital, Red Crescent Hospital, Palestine Hospital, Farah Hospital, Specialized Hospital, Heba Hospital, Jordan Hospital, Al-Hayat Hospital, Philadelphia Hospital, Al-Hanan Hospital, Istiklal Hospital, Abdulhadi Eye Hospital, Istishari Hospital, Hamaideh Hospital, Al-Jazera Hospital, Al-Mahaba Hospital/ Madaba, Qasr Shabib Hospital/ Zarqa, Irbid Specialized Hospital, and KAUH in Irbid  and Jordan University Hospital, from the private sector.

HCAC urged all hospitals to follow course of the hospitals that have pledged thus far as not only will lives be saved but also this will allow hospitals to grasp the concepts and processes involved in achieving accreditation. Dr. Abuhamdia commented that these goals represent the corner stone of the accreditation standards and the ultimate anticipated outcome: The best outcome of accreditation is enhanced patient safety. Abu Hamdia added:" Properly implementing these goals will greatly enhance the standards of quality and safety in health care services and will ensure positive competition among health care providers."  

HCAC will be continuously issuing quality and safety goals that will be identified as part of its mission to improve the quality and safety of health care provided to patients throughout the Kingdom to prevent any incidents that may affect patients' safety due to unsafe practices in health care.  


© Press Release 2009


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