The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) launched its International Accreditation Programme (IAP) in 1999. This is the only international programme that accredits the accreditors. As of December 2009 ISQua has accredited 16 organisations, 19 sets of standards and 5 surveyor training programmes.
All IAP products include:
• A set of internationally validated standards.
• A self-assessment process.
• Evaluation findings and written report.
• Formal recommendations.
• An accreditation award from ISQua.
• Ongoing monitoring and improvement.
Principles underlying all ISQua Standards;
• Leadership through effective planning, governance and management.
• Customer focus to meet the needs of internal and external customers, both existing and potential.
• Organisational performance through the management of processes and outcomes and the transparency of decision-making.
• Continuous quality improvement based on innovation, evidence, best practice and evaluation to better meet the needs of customers.
• Valuing people by appropriately selecting, training and appraising personnel and maintaining good relationships.
• Safety by providing safe work environments and complying with statutory requirements.
ISQua is now offering three products for health care external evaluation and standards setting bodies. These are:
• Organisation Accreditation
This involves self-assessment validated by an on-site peer review evaluation. These standards have incorporated the International Standards Organisation (ISO) requirements for certification bodies, the Baldrige criteria for performance excellence as contained in the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) Excellence Model, and criteria for organisational excellence from the standards of a number of national accreditation bodies. The standards have been grouped into functions that logically reflect the business functions of external evaluation organisations.
• Accreditation of Standards
This involves self-assessment validated by a desktop peer review evaluation. The ISQua International Principles have been developed for the assessment and accreditation of health care standards of external evaluation organisations, including accreditation, certification, inspection and standards setting bodies. All external evaluation of healthcare services should begin with a well established and tested set of standards. These standards contain 6 principles.
• Accreditation of surveyor training programmes
This involves self-assessment validated by a desktop peer review evaluation. Many governments and funding agencies are now requiring external evaluation bodies to have a form of external approval for their surveyor training programmes. There are 6 standards with 29 criteria.
Some hospitals and medical tourism agencies still advertise that a facility is “ ISQua accredited’; the organization does not, never has and never will, accredit any hospital, clinic, agency or doctor directly -it only accredits organisations that do that, and no organization that is not a national or international accreditation body directly accredited by ISQua, has the right to advertise that it is “ISQua accredited”.
Accredited bodies include;
• Accreditation Canada, Canada
• The Australian Council on Healthcare Standard – ACHS, Australia
• Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa – COHSASA, South Africa
• Global-Mark, Healthcare Certification Programme, Australia
• Health and Disability Auditing New Zealand – HDANZ, New Zealand
• Health Accreditation System of Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación, Co – ICONTEC, Colombia
• Healthcare Accreditation Quality Unit, UK - CHKS-HAQU, UK
• The Irish Health Service Accreditation Board – IHSAB, Ireland
• Joint Commission International, USA – JCI, USA
• Malaysian Society for Quality in Health – MSQH, Malaysia
• Netherlands Institute for Accreditation in Healthcare – NIAZ, Netherlands
• Quality Improvement Council and the QIC Accreditation Program, Australia – QIC, Australia
• Taiwan Joint Commission on Healthcare Accreditation – TJCHA, Taiwan