Accreditation of Primary Health Care Centers in Lebanon
Within the vision of the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon to pursue excellence and improve the quality of health care, the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon established in 2010 a partnership with Accreditation Canada, an affiliate of the Health Standards Organization (HSO) to abide by PHC Accreditation Standards. As of August 2017, 17 PHCCs are successfully accredited according to the set standards, and the number of Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCCs) that have applied for Accreditation process has expanded to 93 centers.
Development of the Accreditation Program
In 2008, the Ministry of Public Health started set the foundations of the accreditation process and a national expert committee was formed and contextualized standards of quality. A contractual agreement was established between the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health and Accreditation Canada in 2010. The accreditation process is meant to be interactive and is customized to the Lebanese healthcare context; a self-assessment tool was provided to the PHC centers to assess accreditation readiness. The first pilot survey was done in 2011. MoPH is looking forward to scale up the number of accredited PHCCs to include all the PHC centers within the network.
The Accreditation process is as follows: A PHCC receives basic accreditation training, followed by a refresher training, and submits a self-assessment to the MoPH
Within a period of 4-6 months, the MoPH, in collaboration with Accreditation Canada, conducts a mock survey and offers recommendations via a documented visit report.
Within one to two years, an actual accreditation survey visit is conducted to the center followed by post- accreditation monitoring visits to accredited PHCCs twice per year to ensure that standards are sustained, and conducts accreditation survey visits every three years to renew accreditation status.
In order to ensure the fiscal sustainability of the Accreditation program and build local capacity in PHC Accreditation, the MoPH trained and certified 15 Lebanese national surveyors who have expertise in the primary healthcare field.
Follow-up on the PHC centers in conforming to Accreditation Standards
The Primary Healthcare team ensures the delivery of quality healthcare services is maintained according to best practice in the PHCCs. The team provides continuous support and follow-up accreditation focus visits to aid the PHCCs in providing comprehensive care to the beneficiaries with equity.