MASERU — The Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) has obtained the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) for compliance with International Health Standards and the significant improvements in healthcare delivery since its establishment in 2011.
Three filter clinics of Mabote, Qoaling and Likotsi — all in Maseru — which started operating in 2010 were also accredited by COHSASA earlier this year.
Like QMMH, the three clinics are managed by a consortium of companies comprising of Netcare (Pty) Ltd, Excel Health Services, a group of local doctors, D10 Investments, the Investment arm of Mohloli Chamber of Commerce, Afrinnai, a Bloemfontein-based doctors, WIC (Women Investment Company) and Basotho Women Investors.
The 425-bed QMMH, which is also known as Tšepong, is Lesotho’s national referral hospital, a district hospital for the greater Maseru and the major clinical teaching facility for healthcare professionals.
However, prior to the accreditation, the COHSASA team conducted various standards assessment, focusing on records dating back to 2011, in the case of the hospital and 2010, in the case of the filter clinics.
Final assessment for Queen ‘Mamohato was done last August but the results of the accreditation were only released last month.
COHSASA is an internationally accredited Quality Improvement and Accreditation body for healthcare facilities based in southern Africa.
Through its systems strengthening process, it assists a range of healthcare facilities in southern Africa to meet and maintain quality standards.
QMMH received an overall score of 94 percent, which is attributable to the significant improvement in high quality services provided from 2012.
Accreditation is usually voluntary and customised through self and trained peer review of an organisation’s ability to meet predetermined performance standards while implementing ways to continuously improve.
In an interview this week, the Hospital’s Director of Operations, Dr Karen Prins, said in the case of Queen ‘Mamohato and the three filter clinics — this was a quality and performance requirement of the Public Private Partnership agreement with the Government of Lesotho.
“At Tšepong our core value is care. We care about the dignity of our patients. We have the passion and are encouraged by the participation of all the people in our operations,” Prins said.
She said the hospital has continued to improve its services in all areas, which
includes an increase in in-patient admissions by 51 percent from the baseline study performed by Boston University on the old Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.
The Boston University findings informed the operational design of the Public Private Partnership.
“The number of in-patient admissions at baseline study were 15 465. This has since increased to 23 341 or by 51 percent.”
Outpatients’ visits more than doubled while the hospital and filter clinics assisted with 45 percent more deliveries compared to baseline study.
During the baseline study, she explained, 5 116 deliveries were recorded and this has since increased to 7 431 (45 percent).
Prins said the average length of stay for an in-patient admission is now 16 percent lower than recorded during the baseline study.
“The average length of stay during the baseline study was 5.94 days and this has reduced to five days.”
She said this showed higher efficiency in patient-care.
“This effect may be even larger if we take into account the long length of stay relating to the survival of low birth weight infants at QMMH, who stayed for a lengthy period of time to gain sufficient weight.”
She added the mortality rate has reduced by more than half from the previous 12 percent reported during the baseline study.
The hospital’s public relations officer, Limpho Seeiso, said the accreditation was a great motivation to all the staff at the hospital and the three filter clinics.
“It shows there is a lot of commitment to continue improving our services. It is a clear indication that we are on the right track to ensure the good health of all people,” she said.
The COHSASA programme strongly focuses on building capacity and helps healthcare professionals to measure themselves against international standards.
This approach teaches healthcare workers how to monitor improvements using quality improvement methods, internationally accredited standards and a web-based information system.
Strictly applied, quality improvement methods can improve patient-safety and the quality of care by identifying deficiencies, guiding interventions and monitoring progress.
The COHSASA’s web-based information system assists in identifying deficiencies and weaknesses in healthcare facilities, while creating quality improvement plans to overcome them.
It provides data on the quality of health services to authorities for cost-effective interventions.
In the past 18 years, over 600 facilities throughout Africa have entered the COHSASA programme.
QMMH and the three filter clinics have just joined the other 100 facilities that enjoy accreditation on the African continent.
There is currently only one tertiary facility in South Africa that has been accredited, making the achievement of QMMH more remarkable.
COHSASA is accredited by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua), a global body responsible for ensuring that health accreditors are themselves meeting standards.
COHSASA’s current award is valid until 2014. In addition, four sets of its standards and its surveyor training programme are accredited by ISQua until 2015.