Aga Khan hospital recognised by global body for high-quality patient care

Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital

Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital which has been accredited by Joint Commission International for the fourth time, recognising it as a global leader in health quality standards, following an assessment of its performance.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Nairobi’s Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) has been accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) for the fourth time, recognising it as a global leader in health quality standards, following an assessment of its performance.

"Successful completion of a rigorous accreditation process is a signal to patients that a health care organisation has undergone an exacting (rigorous) performance assessment and met a robust series of qualifications in patient safety and quality of care," JCI wrote on its website.

The hospital became the first in the region to receive the JCI accreditation in 2013. The accreditation is reassessed every three years. The hospital was reaccredited in 2016 and 2019.

Rigorous audit process

The reaccreditation was the culmination of a rigorous audit process based on a review of the hospital's compliance with 291 standards and 1,199 measurable elements.

It involves analysing healthcare delivery processes and documentation, including infection control, standards of physician practice, patient experience, medication management, care, safety, and staff and physicians' qualifications and competencies.

"This reaccreditation is an external validation that we are providing the highest quality of patient care and safety as measured by international standards and benchmarked against the best hospitals globally," said Rashid Khalani, the CEO of the hospital.

The audit also analyses the level of safety and maintenance of the facilities and equipment, disaster preparedness, patient education and the multidisciplinary care of patients.

Quality care

"We do not do this just for the audit, but as a lifestyle. Delivering quality care with good clinical outcomes is part of our DNA and is what differentiates us from other healthcare institutions,” Mr Khalani said.

“This independent and rigorous audit also ensures transparency and openness and that nothing is hidden or thrown under the carpet."

Besides the institutional accreditation, AKUH has had two of its clinical programmes accredited by the JCI.

In August 2020, the hospital was accredited as a centre of excellence for the management of heart attacks, making it the first hospital in sub-Saharan Africa and second in Africa to achieve this certification.

Again in June 2021, the hospital was accredited as a centre of excellence for the management of acute primary stroke, becoming the first in Africa to achieve this certification.

Complies with highest standards

The Joint Commission Accreditation and Care Programme certification means an organisation complies with the highest standards for safety and quality of care and is committed to continually improving patient care.

The JCI Clinical Care Programme Certification standards are intended to benchmark specialty programmes against the world's most comprehensive and competitive standards.

As part of its quality journey, the hospital's laboratory was in 2018 accredited by the College of American Pathologists, making it the only hospital laboratory in eastern and central Africa with this accreditation.

In 2011, the laboratory was awarded the coveted South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accreditation, becoming the first hospital lab in east and central Africa to attain this qualification. It has been receiving the same accreditation annually since.

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