Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), a leading global medical technology company and NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers), a constituent body under the Quality Council of India (QCI), have joined hands together to launch the infection control programme. The collaboration, following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two partners earlier, is a step towards strengthening health systems in the country and promoting continuous quality improvement to ensure the best care for patients when visiting hospitals with effective infection control practices in place.
Setting another benchmark for the healthcare system in the country, Kerala became the first State to roll out a national infection control programme aimed at supporting hospitals in attaining quality-of-care standards.
With the wider roll out of community health insurance initiatives, there is an increased demand for bed capacity and delivery of quality healthcare services. Existing small and medium-sized hospitals, estimated to account for more than two-thirds of all beds, need to strengthen the quality systems. These hospitals can achieve quality-of-care systems by standardizing and adopting necessary infection control practices to ensure patient and healthcare worker safety.
Dr Giridhar J Gyani, QCI, secretary general and CEO, NABH said, “In India, there is an urgent need to invite all healthcare institutions to be compliant with safety standards. We are making every effort to address the necessity to introduce quality assurance mechanisms in the healthcare system in India and NABH accreditation therefore assumes particular significance. In this program of SAFE-I, our partner BD will provide on and off-site technical support to the hospitals for upgrading their infection control practices. This programme will be a stepping stone for the hospitals to begin NABH accreditation that will help the SAFE-I hospitals to avail community insurance schemes.”
Through this programme, NABH has recommended a minimum basic requirement for hospitals with regard to Infection Control, comprising elements such as Injection Safety, Infusion Safety, setting up the Infection Control protocols and policies, taking steps towards healthcare workers safety, biomedical waste management and sterilization and disinfection procedures. Most of these hospitals are high in volume and have the bandwidth as well as the desire to improve clinical outcomes; whereas the quality of care in smaller hospitals, especially which are government empanelled is much more varied in terms of infection control practices.
“We will leverage our global experiences in implementing infection control programmes by supporting NABH to enhance infection control standards in the hospitals of India. Over the next two years we will be working with NABH to scale up this program across the country,” stated Manoj Gopalakrishna, managing director, BD India.
SAFE-I certification will be viewed as a precursor for preparing healthcare organisations for NABH accreditation. Through its experienced clinical team, BD will guide applicant hospitals toward SAFE-I preparation and other relevant capacity building workshops, he added.
This infection control programme will be completed in three phases. During the first phase, initial workshops will be carried out across hospitals in India to ensure the SAFE-I programme is adopted by hospitals. This will be followed by the second phase where Centres of Excellence (CoE) and health economic models will be developed for the enhancement of patient safety and infection control standards in India. The last phase will augment national capability of SAFE-I standards dissemination by expanding CoE network.
The flagship SAFE- I programme was started by BD India in 2008 in association with Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).