Trent Accreditation Scheme

Trent Accreditation Scheme

The Trent Accreditation Scheme (TAS) [cite web |url= |title=Trent Accreditation Scheme |format= |work= |accessdate=2008-06-03] is a United Kingdom-based non-profit organisation formed with a mission to maintain and continually evaluate standards of quality, especially in health care delivery, through the surveying and accreditation of health care organisations, especially hospitals and clinics, both in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Trent's basic mission resembles that of the USA's Joint Commission International, or JCI, and other major international healthcare accreditation groups, although there are some significant differences in the way the two groups work.

Apart from hospitals in the United Kingdom, Trent also surveys a large number of private sector hospitals in Hong Kong. [cite web |url= |title=Hong Kong Adventist Hospital |format= |work= |accessdate=2008-06-03] [cite web |url= |title=Union Hospital |format= |work= |accessdate=2008-06-03] Trent is also expanding into the Philippines and into Malta.

The approach Trent takes to Clinic and Hospital Accreditation is based on the axiom that no single healthcare system, whether European, American, Asian or otherwise in origin, has the right to claim a monopoly viewpoint over what represents acceptable quality and best clinical practice throughout the world, and no one country has the absolute right to tell another how their hospitals should be run. What is vital is that the quality of care which patients receive should be of the highest possible standard, and also that the hospitals and clinics providing that care should be independently capable when it comes to working out how best to maintain those standards and how best to respond to any new challenges which will inevitably come along. If the overall standards of a hospital or clinic can be shown to be of acceptable quality, then it is desirable, and even ideal, that local differences related to culture and to legislation should be specifically discussed and incorporated into the assessment standards in an appropriate fashion. That said, Trent is very interested in the medical ethical standards of the hospitals it works with.

To achieve all of this, Trent works in close partnership with participating hospitals and clinics to generate an appropriate and mutually acceptable set of standards to survey against. Because the world of healthcare is constantly changing, these standards are constantly reviewed and up-dated through a system of working jointly with representatives of partner hospitals.

Trent has developed various ways to ensure local participation, and even ownership, over the accreditation process in a locality. Trent utilises UK-sourced surveyors who are either working in the British National Health Service, or NHS, or have retired in recent times, and hence have valuable experience and insight "at the coal face", and in Hong Kong Trent also appoints locally-domiciled surveyors (see later). Trent surveyors are drawn from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, but especially from the worlds of medicine, dentistry, nursing, the professions complementary to medicine (e.g. physiotherapy, pharmacy etc.) and healthcare management/administration, so as to ensure an appropriately broad portfolio of knowledge and skills are always present within the surveying teams and the wider organisation. Surveyors are all volunteer professionals rather than salaried employees.

Trent surveys are not just a matter of working through a “tick-list” of standards, a process which Trent believes may elevate standards to a certain level but nevertheless do little to inculcate a culture of “thinking for oneself” – instead, Trent surveys involve direct face-to-face conversation with all levels of staff, including clinical medical staff and senior management (for this reason, qualified medical doctors are included in all surveying teams organised by Trent) and Trent surveyors expect full freedom to go anywhere in the hospital or clinic under survey and to talk to anyone they choose to. Discussion and analysis of the data thus generated, not only by the Trent team but also by the hospital or clinic under survey, represents a major component of Trent's approach to hospital and clinic accreditation, and reflects an underlying philosophy that the whole process is about improving services to patients and the ability of an organisation to work effectively towards that aim.

Trent surveyors evaluate a vast range of modalities of a hospital's (or clinic's) activities and governance, including management, estates, equipment, audit, research, education and training, as well as clinical/medical activity. In Hong Kong hospitals, survey teams always consist of 2 or 3 surveyors from the UK working together with (usually) 2 based in Hong Kong and who are actively working in the local hospitals. One surveyor will be nominated as the lead. The Hong Kong-based surveyors are nominated by the participating hospitals, and after receiving training they always survey hospitals other than their own. This approach has led to unrivalled opportunity and potential for the sharing of ideas about best practice between hospitals working in the same locality, and the development of cameraderie. Also, patients are spoken to, and their views and experiences are also sought.

At the end of a survey, the key findings are initially presented by the Lead Surveyor to the hospital or clinic undergoing the survey, this event taking place almost always on the last day. The findings are subsequently digested, analysed and put into a more detailed printed report, with positive virtues being highlighted as well as problems. However, because of the end-of-survey oral presentation, hospitals and clinics can start putting remedial action into place as soon as possible.

After a round of surveys, a joint meeting is held at which the printed reports of all the hospital and clinic surveys conducted in that particular round are discussed jointly and in depth by the Trent Board (which has both local and UK representation) together with senior representatives of the hospital or clinic being surveyed, and a decision is then taken as to whether or not accreditation will be granted unconditionally, or if it will be subject to conditions.

The Trent approach to accreditation ensures that the local hospitals ans clinics enjoy some ownership over the whole process, which would not be the case if all of the standards, all of the surveyors and all of the decisions regarding who is successful or not in achieving accreditation were imposed unilaterally from outside. It helps to build up the confidence of participating hospitals in their ability to develop ways to maintain and improve quality in a way that schemes which operate a more didactic approach to standards and their assessment would not. It also means that there are Trent surveyors constantly present in all of the scheme’s participating hospitals.

Trent is a member of the United Kingdom Accreditation Forum (UKAF) [] and ISQUA, and recently presented at the [ International Medical Travel Conference] in Manila (November 2007) and featured at the [ Medical Tourism Asia] 2008 Conference in Singapore as well as a number of other conferences in 2008. Trent is currently expanding its activities [cite web |url= |title=IMTJ |format= |work= |accessdate=2008-06-03] .

International Healthcare Accreditation

With the advent of medical tourism, international healthcare accreditation has increasingly grown in importance. As well as Trent, there are other accreditation organisations sourced from a number of countries which fulfil this internationally-orientated role, including:

*The Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, or CCHSA
*Joint Commission International (JCI), in the USA
*The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, or ACHS

No single accreditation scheme enjoys exclusive rights to be seen as an overall world-wide-relevant scheme, and some hospitals are looking towards multiple accreditation to achieve performance credibility in different parts of the world.

The Trent Scheme was the first accreditation scheme to survey and accredit a hospital in Asia, in Hong Kong in 2000 [] . Since then others such as JCI have entered the market, with JCI first accrediting Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand in 2002.

The [ Society for International Healthcare Accreditation] , or "SOFIHA", is a recently-launched free-to-join group providing a forum for discussion and for the sharing of ideas and good practice by providers of international healthcare accreditation and users of the same.

[ HealthCare Tourism International] , or HTI, is a recently-launched accreditation non-profit organisation that accredits those companies that provide the non-clinical aspects of health tourism in a patient focused manner.

See also

* Hospital
* Accreditation
* Hospital Accreditation
* International healthcare accreditation
* Clinical governance
* Patient safety
* List of International Healthcare Accreditation Organizations
* Medical Ethics
* Nursing ethics
* Patient safety organization
* Evidence-based medicine
* List of hospitals in Hong Kong
* United Kingdom Accreditation Forum


Participating Trent Hospitals

*Hong kong adventist hospital
*Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital
*Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital
*Union Hospital

External links

* [ Trent Accreditation Scheme]
* [ UKAF - United Kingdom Accreditation Forum]
* [ Dr Charles Wong MD FRCP - "Trent and JCI hospital accreditation: What for? And why both?"]
* [ Sun Star Cebu - "Local hospital seeks accreditation to attract, serve foreign patients"]

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