Vhi Hospital@Home

Achieving Joint Commission International (JCI) Accreditation

Vhi Hospital@Home is the first home care organisation in Ireland to receive Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation for home care services.  Vhi Hospital@Home is a consultant led “hospital in the home” service allowing suitable patients to leave hospital earlier and continue certain treatments in their own home under the care of nurses and doctors. 

At Vhi Hospital@Home we would always have felt that quality was part of our culture, however, with no recognised quality system in place it was difficult to publically show that we provided a quality driven service” explains Paul Murphy, General Manager, Vhi Health Services.  “Our decision to choose JCI accreditation was based on the excellent reputation JCI has in developing healthcare standards that provide a framework for organisations to provide excellent care to its patients and to operate its organisation in an efficient way.  The JCI homecare standards are patient centred, improve organisation management and ultimately provide a better experience for patients.”
Our formal journey to achieving JCI accreditation began 18 months before the accreditation survey.  We quickly realised that we had an huge amount of work to do and that developing, implementing and embedding new practices in the organisation is not something we could do on a part time basis.  In order to ensure that changes were properly developed and implemented we assigned two staff members to manage the project and drive the changes in the organisation.”
The accreditation process has brought about a lot of changes in Vhi Hospital@Home, some of the big improvements brought about by implementing the standards have been in the areas of infection control, patient education and information and the development of policies and procedures.  Staff morale and confidence has increased, we have been independently audited, tested and verified by a leading international accreditation body, staff are confident that the work they are doing meets international quality standards.”
There have been many challenges throughout the process, like most organisations, the allocation of resources (people and money) was a big challenge for us.  Increasing workloads and managing change put increased pressure on everyone in the organisation.  Achieving buy in from staff through regular updates and meetings, and having a well educated dynamic staff helped us overcome these challenges.  Also, buy in and support from the management team was key in implementing change.”
 “The JCI accreditation process allowed us to stop and think about how to improve our service.  It has helped us to develop a clear vision of how a safe, high quality homecare service should operate and to implement processes to ensure this is embedded into every day practice.”
 “The involvement of HCI in supporting Vhi Hospital@Home has been essential.  In the early stages their guidance was invaluable; they provided us with an assessment of what we needed to do to meet the standards and developed a detailed work plan that guided us through the process.  Two key elements that HCI brought to the process was the interpretation of standards for our organisation and carrying out a mock survey.  The mock survey is essential to see how far you have come and what, if any, are the gaps in your Quality and Safety Management System.”
 Paul concludes: “Achieving accreditation is not the end of the journey but merely the beginning.  We must now build on this foundation and work as a team to provide a safe, high quality service to our patients.”
 The JCI accreditation process allowed us to stop and think about how to improve our service.”
“HCI are our quality partners and have been essential in developing our Quality and Safety Management System so that it meets JCI International Accreditation Standards.”