Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has issued a set of criteria to assess hospital quality towards improving services and increasing patient satisfaction.
The 83 criteria were tested over a three-year basis.
Nineteen of the criteria are related to patient care, 14 to work force development, 38 to professional quality, eight to quality improvement and four to professional knowledge, according to the MoH.
Implementation of the criteria will be graded according to five levels: bad, average, moderately good, good and very good.
The head of the ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, Lương Ngọc Khuê, said the criteria was aimed at encouraging hospitals to improve their operation and quality and provide safe and qualified services.
They would also serve as a tool for management agencies to guide hospitals on quality and to implement quality assessment activities, he added.
He noted that effective quality management reduced costs and errors, which in turn attracted more patients.
Hospitals would themselves assess their service quality first, in November and December, and would then be examined by management agencies, according to the official.
The ministry reported last week it had planned to issue more criteria next year to help assess hospital quality more comprehensively.
Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said at the third national hospital quality forum in September that improving health check-ups and treatment quality to satisfy patients was a priority for the healthcare sector.
Despite some remaining weaknesses, she said that the service quality had seen major improvements in recent years, earning public appreciation. A number of hospitals have taken measures to shorten the time patients wait to be treated, while applying information technology and bettering hygienic conditions, she noted.
"The 83 criteria on quality have been applied at all hospitals, but more effort is needed," Khuê said at the third National Hospital Quality Forum held recently in HCM City.
Despite improvements, a number of hospitals, however, still did not recognise the role of quality improvement and had not changed their minds on the role of patients and health workers, according to Khuê.
Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Health, said that treatment incidents still occurred, causing dissatisfaction among patients.
He said patients and families could call the Health Department’s hotlines to report complaints about behaviour or treatment by hospital staff.
"The application of information Technology in administrative procedures has not been done consistently, and the hospital environment is not always safe and secure for patients and health workers," the official said.
He attributed the quality of health services to overcrowding and facilities that have not kept pace with the development of professional techniques in hospitals.
To improve medical exam and treatment capacity, the department piloted several models, including emergency networks, an inter-hospital code blue process, and hemodialysis at commune health stations and satellite departments of the city’s hospitals and district-level hospitals.— VNS