October 28, 2010

Star-rating service for hospitals on cards

A group of Indian expat doctors from the UK and the US is planning to launch an affordable star-rating based certification service for hospitals around early next year. The group would mainly target small and mid-sized hospitals in the Indian market. These stars would be awarded by the London-headquartered Kemp Healthcare based on parameters of safety, quality, timeliness, effectiveness and patient satisfaction.

As health insurance expands in India, Kemp promoters feel there is a growing but unmet need among the hospitals, especially the medium-sized ones, to comply with quality and safety norms. “A large section of mid-sized hospitals in the country want to spruce up safety and quality of service but they cannot afford global accreditation services to authenticate their services. That is the gap we intend to fill,” Pallav Bhatnagar, co- founder and managing director, Kemp told FE. Kemp 5-Star hospital certification would give hospitals additional credibility and confidence in a competitive market and will make them more attractive to health insurance providers, panel companies and medical tourists, he added.

Bhatnagar, however, refused to share the range of cost that hospitals would have to shell out to improve on these parameters, which would vary with the current performance of the hospital.

The service would be launched in the National Capital Region in the first quarter of the next financial year and expand to other parts of the country later.

How will Kemp award the ratings? Explains Bhatnagar: “To attain a star for timeliness, a hospital must provide primary angioplasty to a patient with heart attack within 90 minutes or treatment of thrombolysis for stroke due to a blood clot within 3 hours of onset of symptom. We would quantify the time taken by hospital in these cases and install processes which would help hospitals reduce the time loss on part of the hospital so that these events do not turn fatal for the patients.”

It is estimated that 93% of hospitals, 64% of beds, 80% of doctors, 80% of outpatients and 57% of in-patients in India are accounted for in the private sector. The private health care sector provides 79% of outpatient care for those below poverty line, for which payment is primarily out of pocket.

Link: Original Article

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