You’re out of town on business and you’ve just gotten back to your hotel after a long, grueling day. You’re hungry, and nothing you passed on the way home looked appetizing. So you check the Internet and find other restaurants to try. But you want to know whether any of these local eateries are any good. So you read reviews from other customers and find a few that get great reviews. One, though, also has won awards from a leading food critic who has recommended other restaurants you enjoy. You decide on that one because not only were regular customers satisfied but someone who rates restaurants for a living and knows all about them has given their expert opinion.
When you’re deciding on a clinic or hospital abroad, you’re probably faced with the same challenge. Patient reviews are a great tool, and we at Make Medical Trip take them very seriously. But it isn’t enough to judge a clinic on the surface based on the experience of other patients. You need an expert to tell you whether or not you can trust them. This is where medical facility accreditations such as JCI, ISQuA, and TEMOS come in.
Clinics and hospitals earn accreditation after they are evaluated by an independent, unbiased agency which judges whether or not they meet a certain set of standards. That way, when a patient sees that a clinic is accredited, they can trust that the clinic provides safe and reliable services without having to do a lot of in-depth research.
Hospital and clinic accreditations can be confusing. So we want to help you understand the most popular accreditations for patients looking to assess the quality of a hospital or clinic abroad.
Let’s start by looking at some of the terms you will need to know if you’re investigating a clinic’s accreditations:
Who accredits the accreditors? The ISQua or International Society for Quality in Health care is a key partner of the World Health Organization. ISQua’s International Accreditation Program asses the standards of accrediting agencies to ensure that all certifying bodies are following the international standards properly. An ISQua accreditation means that hospitals receiving the JCI are held to comparable standards.
Joint Commission International or JCI is a certifying body which has evaluated more than 700 clinics and hospitals around the world. It’s the international branch of the US-based agency the Joint Commission, which certifies US hospitals and clinics. JCI is widely considered the gold standard for hospitals and clinics worldwide and is by far the most trusted accreditation for any clinic. JCI evaluates clinics in more than a dozen areas including quality improvement and patient safety, access to care and continuity of care, facility management and safety, and many others.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance is another certifying body which accredits US hospitals to its own set of standards. The NCQA has developed several voluntary programs for individual doctors, medical groups, health plans, and other organizations involved in the health care industry.
TEMOS stands for Trust Effective Medicine, Optimized Services and is a certifying body specializing in clinics catering to medical tourists or international patients. Medical facilities that have been awarded a TEMOS certificate are already accredited for a national or international Quality Management System (we’ll get to those next). TEMOS awards a number of different certifications for different types of clinics and services.
Many countries also have national or regional accreditations that aren’t listed here. This doesn’t mean they are of a lower quality, just that they aren’t recognized internationally. Patients can usually check these accreditations online.
So accrediting bodies, such as JCI, are accredited by ISQua, and evaluate clinics and hospitals to a set of standards that is recognized by the ISQua. Got all that? Don’t worry if you don’t. At Make Medical Trip, our patient care team is always available to answer your questions.
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About Make Medical Trip’s Staff
MakeMedicalTrip.com makes medical travel easy by connecting patients with clinics, hospitals, and medical tourism agencies worldwide, completely free of charge. We have clinics specializing in everything from dentistry to bariatrics. Lean more about how Make Medical Trip works at www.makemedicaltrip.com/how-we-help-you/