2018 11 30

Hila re-accredited by prestigious United States hospital quality standard – Joint Commission International (JCI)

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Photo: the Centre's archives

The Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (MDTC) in Vilnius, located on V. Grybo Street, has been accredited for another one-year period according to the Golden Quality Standard, most often referred to as the Joint Commission International (JCI) Hospital Standard.

The JCI is a non-profit organization set up in the United States in 1994 aimed at improving the quality and safety of medical services on an international scale. This is the highest quality rating in the medical sector, which can only be claimed by leading cutting-edge medical institutions that guarantee the quality and safety of healthcare.

JCI accreditations are far from available to every applicant. This high-level award has been granted to just a few hundred medical institutions around the world, and the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre in Vilnius is proud to be one of them.

The international JCI team assessed the quality of the medical activities and services provided by the MDTC under more than 1,000 criteria. In particular, the quality, accessibility, continuity of medical services provided to the patient, the competence of the staff, infection control and prevention, medical equipment, and infrastructure were all evaluated. Particular attention was focused on patient safety, communication between doctors, nurses and patients, the overall working climate in the health facility, its level of management, and many other important aspects.

Aistė, an MDTC patient who came for her annual gynaecological check, when asked if she knew about international accreditations awarded to the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, said she chooses her medical institution according to the doctor’s qualifications and attitude to the patient, as well as the modernity of the medical equipment and the possibility to get all of the necessary services during one visit. She said she was pleased to get treatment here as soon as it is needed, without having to queue. Aistė said she had noticed many changes in the 12 years she had been an MDTC client, in particular in the communication between doctor and patient. Recently, doctors have been dedicating much more time to the patient, listening more and explaining what they are examining, what the results mean, offering and discussing different treatment options, and advising on the prevention of disease. All of this leads to a comprehensive relationship between doctor and patient, making patients feel safer.

Anna, a temporary resident of Lithuania from the United States, came to the centre for leg vein surgery. When choosing a health facility, she studied the information available and the JCI accreditation and other international assessments were an important factor in her decision to use the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre. Anna said she was aware of the high level of medicine in Lithuania, but the American quality standard provided additional trust in the MDTC, which was subsequently fully proven. The surgery was performed using the most state-of-the-art method – a treatment involving biological glue, which is available in a few medical institutions even in the United States.

Alfredas Songaila, abdominal surgeon and deputy director for surgery at the MDTC for more than 10 years, says that the international accreditation is not only an acknowledgement of the institution’s high achievements by experts from the United States and other countries but also the possibility to match up with the most famous clinics in other countries too, as well as encouragement for continuous improvement and growth.

“The experience of thousands of hospitals and doctors covered by the standard allowed our institution to significantly improve the quality and safety of its services. For example, patient identification, seemingly the simplest of procedures, can have its drawbacks as sometimes there are people with identical names and surnames. The MDTC has implemented the JCI’s requirement for using the name, surname and date of birth to identify a patient, eliminating the likelihood of patients being confused. Our centre uses an effective tool for patient safety – an identification bracelet. The patient’s identity is indicated on a white bracelet, while a red bracelet is intended to alert the sensitivity of the patient to certain medications. When seeing such a bracelet, we always double check whether the prescribed medicine will not cause an allergic reaction,” said Dr Songaila.

More improvements, such as marking the side and site of the surgery, have been introduced by applying JCI procedures. “I think that many of my colleagues, especially when they have a lot of work, have to contemplate in the theatre which limb or side of the body should be operated on. But with all of the markings made before surgery on the side to be operated, in compliance with the JCI standards all doubts are eliminated,” the experienced surgeon said. The JCI standard is also very rigorous in the doctors and surgeons properly filling in patients’ medical history. The standard for screening and medical history contains about 70 requirements that must be met when completing a patient’s medical records. The JCI standard has fundamentally altered the medical records, which have become far more comprehensive, detailed and accurate, significantly reducing the possibility of errors and inaccuracies.

“In 2015, when the MDTC first submitted an application for JCI accreditation, we were faced with a huge challenge in putting into practice the highest global JCI hospital standards. It is very different when treatment institutions claim their own high quality and when they are verified by independent medical and management experts from the most advanced countries. JCI accreditation is not only a statement that we meet high standards; it is a commitment by our treatment facility for improving quality and safety every single year. The JCI accreditation received in 2018 confirms the strong commitment of the MDTC to ‘live in quality’, continuously improving and providing our patients with the highest standards of medical help and care. We believe in it, we live in it,” said Laimutis Paškevičius, Director of the MDTC.

The Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre is certified and accredited according to the following international quality standards:

  • 2004 – the MDTC was one of the first medical institutions in Lithuania certified under the international ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental) standards
  • 2011 – the MDTC became the first medical institution in Lithuania to be accredited according to the International ISO 15189:2012 standard specifying the requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories
  • 2012 – the MDTC became the first medical institution in the Baltic countries accredited by the United Kingdom’s TAA (Treatment Abroad Accredited) TA Code of Practice standard for medical tourism
  • 2015 – the MDTC introduced the Balanced Scorecard
  • 2015 – the MDTC became the first medical institution in the Nordic region certified by two international TEMOS (Trust. Effective Medicine. Optimized Services.) medical tourism standards: “Excellence in Medical Tourism” and “Quality in International Patient Care”
  • 2015 – the MDTC was one of the first in the Baltic countries to be accredited by the prestigious international (gold) US Joint Commission International Hospital standard
  • 2016 – the MDTC was awarded a quality certificate and recognized partner status of the Diplomatic Council, Germany
  • 2017 – re-accreditation under the TA Code of Practice by the United Kingdom’s TAA (Treatment Abroad Accredited) in the field of medical tourism
  • 2018 – the MDTC was re-certified according to the International TEMOS standards – Quality in International Patient Care and Excellence in Medical Tourism
  • 2018 – the MDTC was accredited according to the Global Clinic Rating System (GCR) in the United States
  • 2018 – the MDTC was re-accredited under the prestigious international (gold) US Joint Commission International (JCI) Hospital standard