Costa Rica’s health care industry is growing exponentially, driven in part by a mixed public and private system that offers top-quality care at affordable costs and a booming health care tourism industry that draws tens of thousands of travelers every year.
But none of this would be possible if health care consumers lacked some sort of oversight agency that could provide the best assurance that the country’s health care products and services are both safe and effective.
That’s where the nongovernmental Joint Commission International (JCI) comes into play. JCI has worked with health care organizations, ministries of health, and global organizations in more than 80 countries since 1994, according to its website, which states:
“Our focus is on improving the safety of patient care through the provision of accreditation and certification services as well as through advisory and educational services aimed at helping organizations implement practical and sustainable solutions.”
More than 300 public and private health care organizations in 39 countries have been accredited by JCI.
In downtown San José, the Clínica Bíblica Hospital, which has witnessed rapid growth in recent years, thanks mostly to foreign patients fleeing from soaring health care costs and lack of coverage back home, is now certified by JCI for the second time in three years. The current accreditation lasts until 2013.
In order to obtain certification, hospitals must pass JCI inspections and comply with high standards.
It’s not surprising that Clínica Bíblica would keep its JCI certification, but it is reassuring for the thousands of patients the hospital treats each year.
“We are very proud of this triumph that benefits our patients,” said Jorge Cortés, Clínica Bíblica’s medical director. “Once again, Costa Rica proves it has one of the best private hospitals in Central America. It also shows our commitment to the public.”
Here are some of the goals hospitals must strive to meet in order to be accredited: better patient care and safety; cost reduction and increased operational efficiency; growth in public confidence; continual improvement of sanitary conditions; education and best practices; increased employee satisfaction and recruitment.
In those unfortunate circumstances that require a visit to the hospital, it’s pretty good to know that caregivers are focusing on all of these important ideas.
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