PART of my discussions in this column last year touched on the importance of PhilHealth accreditation as a key component of our overall quality assurance program, a key strategy that Republic Act 7875 as amended has institutionalized to help us achieve the desired health outcomes through quality services rendered by accredited health care providers. Ultimately, accreditation should benefit our members and their dependents whenever they seek treatment in these hospitals.

In keeping with this vision, we have recently issued Circular 50 series of 2009, which emphasizes the Benchbook as the new accreditation standards that will be adopted by PhilHealth starting 2010. Launched in 2002, the Benchbook contains at least 237 indicators of quality, enabling providers to assess their quality thresholds as well as the areas still needing improvement.

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Sa ilalim ng bagong pamantayan na ito ay ikakategorya na ang ating mga partner hospital bilang mga Sentro ng Kaligtasan (safety), Kalidad (quality), at Kahusayan (excellence) batay sa antas ng kanilang pagsunod sa Benchbook. Naniniwala kami na hindi dapat huminto pagdating sa pagpapahusay ng serbisyo. At kapag hindi rin humihinto ang ating mga partners sa pagpapabuti ng kanilang serbisyo, kami naman sa PhilHealth ay makakatiyak sa kalidad ng serbisyo sa ating mga miyembro.

Kung at least 60 porsiyento na ang natugunan ng isang ospital sa patient rights at organizational ethics, patient care, at safe practice and environment, sila ay kikilalanin bilang Sentro ng Kaligtasan (Center of Safety) at gagawaran ng isang taong accreditation.

Kung at least 75 porsiyento naman ang kanilang compliance level at bukod sa unang tatlong indicators na nabanggit sa itaas (patient rights, etc) ay may magandang ipinakita pagdating sa leadership and management, human resource at information management, sila ay itatalaga bilang Sentro ng Kalidad (Center of Quality) at bibigyan ng accreditation hanggang dalawang taon. Kapag naka-90 porsiyento na ang kanilang compliance at idagdag pa ang patuloy na pagbuti ng kanilang performance, itatalaga sila bilang Sentro ng Kahusayan (Center of Excellence) at magiging accredited ng tatlong taon.

The continuous rise in the level of quality in service offers a lot of rewards and incentives that will ultimately enhance their bottom line. For one, members prefer accredited hospitals over the non-accredited ones simply because they will be able to avail of their benefits only from accredited ones. Secondly, the trend among hospitals now is to compete with each other (and even against their own standards) in terms of improved facilities, comfy amenities, and hotel-like service in order to attract more customers and do their business. Sa panahon ngayon ng medical tourism, mas napapabilis ang paggaling ng mga pasyente sa mga pasilidad na talaga namang "the best" ika nga. The Benchbook, in many ways, can help make hospitals achieve this kind of excellence in service.

For a free copy of Circular 50 series of 2009, please visit www.philhealth.gov.ph.

Etcetera:

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