|Patients doing procedures to be examined at My Phuoc General Hospital in the southern Binh Duong Province's Ben Cat District. External quality assessments will be carried out at more than 900 health facilities in the country next year, according to the Ministry of Health. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HCM CITY (VNS) — External quality assessments will be carried out at more than 900 health facilities in the country next year, according to the Ministry of Health.
The assessments will be supervised by the quality control centres of Ha Noi Medical University, HCM City Medical University and HCM City's Department of Health.
Dr Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the ministry's Treatment and Examination Management Department, made the announcement yesterday at a two-day National Forum on Hospital Quality Management, organised by the EU-funded Health Sector Capacity Support Project.
Assessments began in 2007, and this year, 714 hospitals have implemented them, according to the ministry.
Tran Huu Tam, director of HCM City's Centre for Standardisation and Quality Control in Medical Lab, said that laboratories were becoming more concerned about quality management of clinical testing.
He said that external assessments of clinical tests in several fields had increased from one in 2007 to 11 in 2013.
The rate of errors, he said, had fallen year by year, especially in biochemistry, which dropped from 18.6 per cent in 2007 to 12.2 per cent in 2013.
For hematology, the rate had fallen from18.4 per to 8.9 per cent, and for immuno-assays, from 13.3 per cent to 5.3 per cent.
Khue said all hospitals in the country had been provided with guiding circulars on how to implement laboratory quality management.
In addition, health departments in provinces and cities have been told to carry out laboratory quality control at hospitals, Khue said.
Many hospitals are organising training courses on laboratory quality control for their staff, he said.
Khue said that hospitals in the past had not devoted enough funds for tests of quality assurance at their laboratories.
Speaking to Viet Nam News, the Deputy Minister of Health, Nguyen Thi Xuyen, said that many hospitals disagreed about lab results, and that some patients were required to take too many tests.
Tam suggested that a list of required medical tests for each type of disease should be established to prevent the over-use of tests and discrepancies between lab results.
Also, during the forum, attendees discussed how to improve treatment at hospitals.
Khue said that 110 hospitals in the country had outlined plans to do so.
At least 191 hospitals have already made technical improvements, resulting in more effective treatment, he said.
Tran Thi Trung Chien, former Minister of Health, said the key to better quality was investment in facilities and higher qualifications for doctors, nurses and managers.
She said that all hospitals should develop plans based on the ministry's criteria for hospital quality.
The forum was held to raise awareness about the importance of quality healthcare and patient safety. — VNS