International programs improve the process of care
Hospitals and health facilities in the regional states have succeeded in applying international standards and requirements that deal with quality standards of medical services stipulated by international healthcare accreditations. Although some health facilities have been affected by the pandemic outbreak, many of them have proven their competence in infection control and preventing the spread of the pandemic among healthcare providers and workers in light of the application of global accreditation standards and adherence to correct health practices.
It was clear that hospitals with local and global accreditation certificates worked hard to improve quality, develop policies, programs, plans and continuing education, which led to improving the level of emergency response such as the one we are currently witnessing in light of the outbreak, while maintaining the provision of safer care and high-quality services despite the hardships.
Despite the challenges that have burdened hospitals, they, in many countries, have succeeded in implementing a set of important measures to protect their medical staff and others from coronavirus. In light of the spread of the pandemic in most countries of the world, the importance of infection control has emerged in hospitals and in the departments dedicated for coronavirus patients, urging doctors and nurses to follow the highest protection standards with the aim of preventing cross-infection. At this critical stage, accurate infection control measures in hospitals are very necessary to preserve the safety of the healthcare team, and it is extremely important to fight the pandemic because any complacency would threaten everyone and turn hospitals into places of cross-contamination.
Hospitals obtaining international accreditations confirm their commitment to applying the highest international practices that are internationally approved in terms of clinical service quality, patient safety, and the competence of medical and administrative staff, while establishing a system that governs quality performance and makes a qualitative leap in providing excellent healthcare to patients in accordance with the finest international protocols.
The infection control policies adopted in hospitals aim to prevent the occurrence or transmission of infection between patients, healthcare providers and visitors. Full adherence to these procedures are obvious when dealing with patients or equipment, provided that the environment surrounding the patient while in the hospital is completely safe and clean while ensuring the reduction of microbial or viral growth and transmission.
There are multiple and various infection control methods that are complementary and are applied flawlessly and with high precision in order to ensure the provision of a sterile environment. Perhaps what most of the region’s hospitals have achieved in obtaining international accreditations repeatedly, has contributed to strengthening the health sector’s achievements and renewing global confidence in quality health services in the Arab world. The accreditation standards were a roadmap adopted by hospitals in managing the pandemic.
In light of the pandemic outbreak, it became clear that the internationally accredited hospitals have:
- Programs and departments dedicated for infection control and prevention.
- Effective disaster management and raising the readiness level s to better manage coronavirus cases.
- Speed in dealing with emergency cases by forming committees that follow up on coronavirus cases and monitor their source.
- Continuous training for workers on how to deal with patients according to international protocols.
- An internal system for quality control, data collection, patient records and data.
International standards and protocols
International institutions have worked on developing protocols that are proven by scientific evidence that recommend the application of international medical standards and practices to ensure quality and high performance. The majority of hospitals in the countries of the region have succeeded in applying these protocols by following preventive measures that are like daily precautionary steps that are applied by all healthcare providers within the hospital. They aim at controlling infection and are primarily related to patient safety.
These measures aim to prevent and control infection to protect those who may be at risk of acquiring infection while receiving healthcare. The problem is that every patient who stays in the hospital for more than ten days have an increased risk of contracting coronavirus, especially those who suffer from weak immunity.
Washing hands regularly and wearing a mask or face shield while not touching the patient’s body without gloves and taking them off when moving from one patient to another are one of the most important measures stipulated in international health policies. They are applied by hospitals to ensure the continuity of obtaining international health accreditations, while also being aware of the great risks that this infection can cause in healthcare facilities.
Since any of the hospital employees may be exposed to this infection, hospitals have adopted a working methodology for infection control that is based on several principles, namely, risk assessment and control, setting policies and procedures to prevent its spread and providing the infrastructure in a way that ensures the safety of high-risk procedures while focusing on spreading policies and procedures with the aim of improving the expertise of the personnel in order to reduce risks within performance indicators that rise to the highest global levels through systems that monitor infection and identify the most severe coronavirus cases.