The Instituto de Microcirugía Ocular (IMO) has obtained the Ambulatory Care Accreditation gold seal this month from the Joint Commission International® (JCI), demonstrating its continuous compliance with the internationally recognised standards in terms of quality care and patient safety. This prestigious quality accreditation in healthcare reflects receiving organisations’ commitment to safe and effective medical care.
With this recognition, IMO has become the first ophthalmology centre in Barcelona to receive the Gold Seal of Approval®, something which has been achieved by only two other outpatient centres in Spain dedicated to vision (one in Palma de Mallorca and the other in Madrid) and a total of 27 organisations throughout Spain. Internationally, there are around 900 healthcare entities certified by the JCI, including hospitals, university clinics, laboratories, medical transportation and primary care centres, long-term care and home-care facilities, and outpatient centres (our Institute’s category).
Rigorous quality standards
In order to obtain the seal, IMO had to undergo a rigorous in situ assessment in October 2016 and February 2017, during which a team of Joint Commission International experts assessed its compliance with the international standards on outpatient care in relation to various different areas, including patient safety, patient assessment and care, anaesthesia and surgical care, improvement, prevention and control of infections, management and leadership, facility management, staff qualifications and education, and information management. In three years’ time, IMO will undergo the assessment process again to reaccredit its standards, which have been developed in consensus with medical experts, healthcare providers, assessors and patients from all around the world.
According to Paul Chang, Vice President of Accreditation, Standards and Measurement at JCI, “the accreditation provides outpatient care organisations with processes that help improve a variety of different areas, ranging from staff training to demonstrating best practices in the outpatient sector”. The JCI director praised IMO “for its efforts in becoming a quality-improvement organisation, and achieving this pinnacle which demonstrates a commitment to safety and quality for patients”.
Francisca Rodríguez, Executive Director at IMO, explained that “receiving the accreditation from the leading international body for healthcare quality improvement and accreditation enhances our global reach and consolidates our position as a leading centre that strives for excellence, as it requires our full attention and dedication to a rigorous set of qualitative standards”.
The aim of all this is to promote an effective focus, which stimulates continuous improvement and is patient-centred, based on the JCI principles. According to Francisca Rodríguez, this is “a result of team work and dedication to this goal by the whole institution”.
And this is not the first time that external auditors have attested to the quality and safety at IMO. In 2016, IMO was named a member of the European Vision Institute Clinical Research Network (EVICR), an acknowledgement which confirms the centre’s commitment to the highest standards in terms of quality and excellence in its studies, guaranteeing compliance with standardised protocols and, therefore, with the international Good Clinical Practice guidelines. Furthermore, IMO has also been a pioneering ophthalmology centre since it achieved the highest-level operating room biosafety classification (ISO 6) – UNE standard 171340 of AENOR (Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification) in 2014.