By Michelle Anzaya
Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUH,N) has been accredited for the fourth time by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the recognized global leader in health quality standards.
The US-based JCI is an independent not-for-profit organisation that accredits and certifies health care organisations globally. On its website JCI notes: “Successful completion of a rigorous accreditation process is a signal to patients that a health care organization has undergone an exacting (rigorous) performance assessment and met a robust series of qualifications in patient safety and quality of care.”
AKUH,N was first accredited by the JCI in July 2013, becoming the first hospital in East Africa to receive the coveted accreditation. The Hospital was re-accredited in 2016 and 2019.
“This re-accreditation 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 re-accreditation was a 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 the analysis of healthcare delivery processes and documentation including infection control, standards of physician practice, patient experience, medication management, the safety of care and the qualifications and competencies of staff and physicians.
The audit also analyzes the level of safety and maintenance of the facilities and equipment, disaster preparedness, patient education and the multidisciplinary care of patients. The audit is done every three years.
“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. This independent and rigorous audit also ensures transparency and openness and that nothing is hidden or thrown under the carpet,” noted Mr Khalani.
In addition to the institutional accreditation, AKUH,N has had two of its clinical programs 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 stoke making it the first hospital in Africa to receive the accreditation.
As part of its quality journey, the hospital’s laboratory was in 2018 accredited by the College of American Pathologists. AKUHN is 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 laboratory in East and Central Africa to attain this qualification. It has been re-accredited annually since then.