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Sometimes we choose a hospital facility because it is nearby or convenient or we know someone who can help us from within the hospital. Sometimes we need a Specialist hospital, particularly for specialized fields such as ophthalmology, mental health, cancer TB, etc . Sometimes we can choose a Multi Speciality hospital, to address complex or multiple organ illnesses. Most of the times, we go by the Doctors advice. The testimonials and experiences of patients who have used the facility can be useful The costs can vary in each case.. The facilities may be high class, or medium class.

 Choosing an accredited hospital is your best bet as the accreditation process judges their facility, infrastructure, processes, manpower and customer and employee feedback. Every hospital may boast of excellent care and standards. Accreditation is the external validation of adherence to national or international quality and safety standards. WWW.NABH.CO

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

How to choose a hospital:

Accreditation process involves examination of technical and medical expertise of the doctors, nurses, and para medical staff. It covers the administration processes and adherence to quality and safety standards laid down by the Medical Fraternity. It looks at the service experience of patients.

It is normally valid for 4 years. Thereafter the accreditation status has to be renewed. During the period before renewal regular audits ensure compliance to standards and process integrity. This also encourages research and innovation of Best Practices .

Accreditation also evaluates waste disposal systems, including bins clearly marked, designated areas for collection, and its disposal, show a safe place. Standard operating procedure including wearing disposal gloves, and gear by the staff are specified . 

Incident reporting and its analysis, without fear of reprisal can encourage and nurture a quality and safety culture in the hospital

The accreditation process usually does not have any impact on the cost of treatment.

Hence it is beneficial for the patient to get treated in an accredited facility.

Many agencies are involved in the accreditation process and its audit. Some of the well known names are—NABH, QAI, These too are certified by International agencies , who keep adding newer requirements and best practices.

Accreditation agencies like NABH are authorised to check the functioning, systems and procedures followed in hospitals and conducts audits periodically. They provide valuable guidelines for safe and quality care delivery and service, as also administration in hospitals and diagnostic centres.. It is therefore advisable to seek medical care in such accredited facilities.

What is the Validity of accreditation?

List of areas under purview by NABH

Every hospital has a Front Desk or May -I -help -You section right at the Reception area. 

The Billing may also be nearby. Admission desk could also be close by.

Read the signs displayed on the outside, inside, front desk and reception areas. Overhead signs show directions to every department. Ask for help from the Front desk to guide you in case of language difficulty, inability to read the signs, or if you are unable to navigate the passages yourself. 

All big hospitals have an Emergency area which is open all 24 hours. Critical patients must go to Emergency where they try and stabilise the patient before sending him/her home or admit for further management. 

For Inpatient admissions, the process may be different, and may need prior deposit of advance fees before you are allotted a bed/room. 

Other general services like canteen, parking, toilets, water, and sitting areas may be spread around the hospital. Most good hospitals also have a pharmacy . 

Wards for Inpatient admissions may be on different floors based on specialisation. .

Operation theatres and recovery rooms, ICU may all be on higher floors.

Take your time to understand the layout of the hospital for attending as a patient in OPD or before admission. Seek help if you find difficulty.

Go to a doctor only if you have faith in him or her. You should follow the doctor’s prescribed line of treatment. It is important to fully understand the treatment plan and subsequent follow up. 

The doctor’s written prescription normally includes the reason and evidence of the diagnosis and treatment recommended. Doctor would refer to findings of the investigations as well.

For major illnesses involving multiple symptoms, or long standing illnesses, or complex decisions like surgery, one can seek Second Opinion of another doctor, Specialist doctor or Specialized Hospital.

Patient support groups also offer insights from other patients, and assistance in symptomatic relief or information about services needed for a comprehensive cure.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

things to ask the doctor during your check up:

How to read a prescription:

Following doctor orders for medication:

A second opinion is taken at the Diagnosis stage. You can seek a second opinion for any major illness.

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Getting a Second Opinion

5 situations when you should get a second opinion

Do Doctors Get Offended When You Get a Second Opinion?