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Hospital Accreditation: The New Mantra Of Medical Tourism Industry

Globalization is the watchword of the current generation, giving rise to new phenomena day by day. One such phenomenon is "medical tourism" which has given patients the option to shop for affordable healthcare worldwide. Patients who cannot afford expensive treatment, or who do not have health insurance; or are wait-listed for procedures in their own countries under government plans are compelled to travel to other developing countries for other treatment options. These options are now greatly sought after because of the immense benefits they offer. Not only is the cost of treatment greatly reduced, the medical tourists recuperate in style at a health spa or resort as part of the treatment-cum-vacation package.

Developing countries have greatly realized the benefits of the medical tourism industries and are directing their energies to attract medical tourists from all over the world. Five star hospitals with expatriate doctors (either board certified in the United States or specialists with advanced degrees from the United Kingdom) are a must-have for these hospitals in order to rope in the trust of the medical tourists who come here to get western quality healthcare at third world prices. In order to meet the growing demand for hospital accreditation overseas, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) launched the Joint Commission International (JCI) to accredit hospitals worldwide. International accreditation standards for JCI were developed by an international task force and form the foundation for a regional or country model, selected with local input, to benchmark the quality of patient care and safety in a particular region or country.

As per the international accreditation standards, special attention is paid to core aspects of patient care, together with such essential requirements as admission policy that has in place for access to and continuity of care, discharge procedure, referral, follow-up and transfer of patients. These policies are in the interests of the medical tourists who provide a medical history consisting of on-line health questionnaires, faxed medical records and perhaps telephone communications with the doctor’s office prior to actually arriving at the hospital for treatment. Accreditation requires the hospital to identify and evaluate the medical needs of the patient before being admitted and this in itself is highly reassuring. Once the treatment is over, the issues of follow-up care arises, as the patient needs to be back home within a week or two. An accredited hospital should therefore have a policy to provide to all the patients with a complete discharge history and recommended follow-up care to take back home to their physicians.

Accredited hospitals also take special care of drinking water facilities and other issues of cleanliness and safety. An accredited hospital has instituted policies requiring the use of gloves, masks, soap and disinfectants, has developed infection reduction strategies, and supports programs designed to improve patient care and safety. Often medical tourists opt for accredited hospitals for the type of facilities they provide. Besides, it will also be able to monitor the patient according to established procedures while in surgery or when anesthesia is administered prior to and during the procedure. Medications administered to patients during and after their stay in the hospital may also be safer in accredited hospitals as accreditation standards require that medications be prepared, stored and dispensed according to set norms.

Last but not the least is the policies that accredited hospitals have in store for the companions or families of medical tourists. Accredited hospitals acknowledge the views of the family members or companions of the medical tourists while making decisions pertaining to treatment of the patients. Besides, accredited hospitals in medical tourism destinations also manage updated records and online data to meet any emergency needs. With medical tourism centers managing accredited hospitals in large numbers, more and more medical tourists are heading towards the developing nations to seek health at cost-effective rates!

Submitted by:

Suzanne Macguire

Suzanne Macguire is an Internet marketing professional with expertise in content development and technical writing in a variety of industries.http://www.recoverdiscover.com/




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