New IFC Guide to Promote Patient Safety, Quality, and Ethics in Emerging Market Health Care Companies
Washington, D.C. July 9, 2010— In developed countries, an estimated one in ten patients is harmed while receiving hospital care. In developing countries, that probability is much higher. In Sub-Saharan Africa, some consider that weaknesses in health care quality are a greater barrier to health improvement than access.
In response to this urgent need, IFC—the world’s largest multilateral investor in private health care in emerging markets—has launched a new guide to help health care organizations in emerging markets reach international standards of patient safety, service quality, and ethics.
The Self-Assessment Guide for Health Care Organizationswas developed by IFC’s Health and Education Department with support from medical experts around the globe and the foremost international health care accreditation body, the Joint Commission International.
“Improving patient safety has become increasingly critical worldwide and is one of the most urgent issues facing health care today,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education. “We are happy to share this guide with health care organizations, including IFC clients, partners, and other stakeholders to help them reach international standards.”
The guide will help reduce preventable medical mistakes and improve the quality and, ultimately, the affordability of health care for the consumer. It will also be a useful resource for risk managers, business leaders, policy makers, and others working in health care.
“When IFC invests in health care organizations, we stake our reputation—not only in terms of the commercial performance of our clients—but also in their values and standards,” added Mr. Ellena. “We have a major role in facilitating sustainable and socially responsible growth in the companies we work with; this means promoting international standards.”
The guide provides a structured approach to assessing standards and procedures and directs users to where improvements are required. It will be useful for organizations that aim for international standards, including those who may wish to achieve some form of international accreditation but do not have the resources to commission specialist advice.
The guide also includes a basic Code of Conduct and uses a self-scoring methodology to lead management teams through a comprehensive assessment of their organizations – while focusing on 31 key standards based on Joint Commission International accreditation standards.
In addition to practical advice, the guide includes extensive references to useful online resources, including reputable sources of evidence-based medical practices.