First in Palestine: Two East Jerusalem hospitals achieve JCI Accreditation for quality and patient safety, June 2013
13 June 2013 – Jerusalem: Two health care facilities within the East Jerusalem Hospital Network (EJHN) became the first in Palestine to achieve accreditation from the Joint Commission International for quality and patient safety. Augusta Victoria Hospital and St. John Eye Hospital in East Jerusalem, important referral centers for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, were both awarded the prestigious 3-year Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, following JCI accreditation site visit surveys in May.
Accreditation from the JCI is a significant accomplishment for the Palestinian healthcare system. The JCI is recognized worldwide for its established patient safety and quality service standards and goals for health service facilities.
The Ministry of Health relies heavily on referring patients to East Jerusalem hospitals for specialized healthcare unavailable in the West Bank and Gaza. Over half of EJHN cases are referral patients.
The EJHN and its six facilities have been supported by the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the last four years. Through the latest phase of this programme the EU provided EUR 2.4 million for quality improvements. To prepare the hospitals for JCI accreditation, WHO facilitated various training opportunities including direct training from JCI, and on site consultations by JCI mock surveyors and external quality professionals. In addition, WHO facilitated regular meetings and workshops among the EJHN quality coordinators and their teams to encourage an environment of joint learning, information sharing, and communication among the member facilities of the network.
Dr. Tawfiq Nasser, Augusta Victoria Hospital CEO, said his staff was highly motivated by the belief that “all patients who come to our hospital have the right to receive the best and safest services.” Nasser said that the accreditation demonstrates that, “despite economic and political conditions [Palestinian health professionals] can achieve international standards of excellence in healthcare delivery.”
St. John Eye HospitalThe CEO of St. John Eye Hospital, Brigadier Tom Ogilvie-Graham, commented: “This prestigious accreditation could not have come at a better time in supporting us achieving our strategic goals to put the hospital in line with the best eye hospitals worldwide. Quality care and clinical research feature high on our priorities and JCI accreditation will help in this regard.”