The Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) has accredited two public hospitals and three clinics in Botswana.

Xhosa and Airstrip primary healthcare clinics, Phutadikobo Clinic, Mahalapye Hospital and Scottish Livingstone Hospital have all achieved compliance with standards that have been internationally accredited.

These are the first hospitals and clinics under the control of the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness to receive the COHSASA accreditation awards.

The hospitals entered the COHSASA programme in 2009 and have worked their way to achieving full accreditation through the implementation of comprehensive quality improvement projects in all areas of hospital operations.

All five facilities were enrolled into a pilot programme with COHSASA and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in 2009 through the Southern Africa Human Capacity Development Coalition (SAHCD) supported by PEPFAR funding from the US Centre for Disease Control in Botswana.

“Despite a range of serious obstacles, the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness has persevered with the incremental process of quality improvement and the accreditation of these health facilities marks the beginning of a serious change in the systemic strength of health institutions in this country. By identifying common deficiencies across hospitals, the Ministry was able to intervene and, laudably, make necessary changes,” said COHSASA CEO, Jacqui Stewart.

COHSASA embedded the quality improvement and assurance activities by holding training workshops for representatives from the hospitals and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. These workshops focused on standards interpretation and evaluation and quality improvement methodologies.

Thereafter there was an on-going programme of skills development and support to build local capacity.  This enabled the Ministry of Health and Wellness to take over the quality improvement activities, with COHSASA being responsible for the accreditation.

A total of 18 hospitals and clinics are now in the COHSASA accreditation programme in Botswana and the Ministry has asked COHSASA to develop healthcare quality standards for the country.

“Enrolment into this programme has helped the facilities to strive to provide patients with high-quality and safe healthcare services,” said the Minister of Health and Wellness of Botswana, Dorcas Makgato.

“The benefits of accreditation processes are multiple and include among others: improved quality and safety of care; explicit, documented processes; effective teamwork; reduced costs; and enhanced organisational cultures. In other words, accreditation is a process that drives the full scope of improvement which necessarily encompasses the structures, processes and outcomes of service delivery. Let me tell you that the award of full accreditation status reflects high individual and organisational performance,” concluded Minister Makgato.

For more information contact, like us on Facebook or tweet us @eHealthNewsZA.