Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Ambulance Service
Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Ambulance Service has received accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI). With this achievement, the Ambulance Service, formerly known as Emergency Medical Services, becomes the first in the region – and the first national ambulance service – to be accredited by the JCI.
HMC’s Ambulance Service would also be the fifth such service in the world to achieve JCI accreditation, as well as the biggest ambulance service in the world that has been assessed by the JCI.
The JCI is a global, knowledge-based organization that provides leadership and innovative solutions to help international healthcare organizations across all settings improve patient safety and quality. It is the international arm of The Joint Commission, the United States’ oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. The JCI has been working with healthcare organizations, ministries of health, and global organizations in over 80 countries since 1994.
Dr Robert Owen, Executive Director of the Ambulance Service, said this was the first time they have sought accreditation from the JCI. “We developed a comprehensive JCI accreditation plan which we implemented over 18 months. We worked very much with our partner organizations within HMC such as Quality Management, Occupational Health and Safety, and Infection Control. Through our committee structure, we developed a plan and monitored our progress against that plan.”
“We then had a mock survey in May-June where we did very well. There were 658 measurable elements in the assessment, and we were fully compliant with over 98 percent of those, which is a very good result for a JCI accreditation,” said Dr Owen. “We scored 100 percent on governance, leadership and direction, quality management, access to and coordination of services, assessment of patients, and patient and family education, and in the rest we scored in the high 90s.”
“Congratulations to you, and all the other leaders and staff of the Emergency Medical Services (now the Ambulance Service), HMC in achieving this recognition of your commitment to provide quality care on an ongoing basis,” said the JCI letter addressed to Dr Owen, which advised of the JCI’s decision to grant accreditation. “The citizens of Qatar should be proud that EMS-HMC (the Ambulance Service) is focusing on this most challenging goal – to continuously raise quality to higher levels.”
The Ambulance Service accreditation is another milestone for HMC, which is the first healthcare organization outside the United States to achieve simultaneous JCI reaccreditation last year for all of its then five highly specialized hospitals, namely, Hamad General Hospital, Rumailah Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Al Amal Hospital and Al Khor Hospital. The two new hospitals added to HMC’s portfolio, Heart Hospital and Al Wakra Hospital have been opened only this year and thus were not included in the previous accreditation.
“This is something that the whole of Qatar can be proud of. It demonstrates that HMC is committed to providing the best care possible – and that the Ambulance Service as part of HMC is committed to achieving the international benchmark for providing quality care, and this commitment has born fruit,” said Dr Owen.
Dr Owen explained, “It is important to note that the Ambulance Service has implemented a lot of plans to change the way we deliver services to our patients. These were about improving access to care, and ensuring the quality of the care that is delivered; and I think the JCI process has validated them. The JCI has come often and inspected us as we implemented these plans, and they clearly met with the requirements for accreditation.”
“What I have personally learned from the JCI process is what an amazing team we have working at HMC. The whole organization pulled together hugely for the JCI accreditation and are completely committed to it. We have some talented, very committed people, and the success of the JCI process has reemphasized that,” said Dr Owen. He added that the Ambulance Service will seek reaccreditation in three years’ time. “I am confident we will be successful in that as well.”