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The Europe Hospitals: the only hospital in Brussels to be JCI accredited

Les Cliniques de l’Europe : seul hôpital bruxellois à être accrédité JCI

Uccle, 14/02/2024 - After several years of hard work by all their staff, the Europe Hospitals has just been awarded JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation, an international quality label for hospitals that remains valid for three years.  With a success rate of over 99% for all measurable elements, the Europe Hospitals can pride themselves on having achieved the highest distinction and is now the only hospital in Brussels to be JCI accredited. A guarantee of quality and safety for patients, their families and all hospital staff, this accreditation also recognises the professionalism of the institution in its organisation.

"I had just joined the Europe Hospitals and I quickly found the support I needed to embrace the challenge of accreditation. In my view, it was vital for quality to be verified by an external organisation. This was also part of our strategic plan," says Peter Fontaine, CEO of the Europe Hospitals. "And it very quickly became clear that we were going to choose JCI accreditation, which offers an international vision, and one of the advantages of which is that it is carried out not by other hospitals, but by professionals with international experience".

A continuous improvement approach
The primary objective of this accreditation process is to develop a culture of continuous improvement in quality and safety for patients, their families, visitors and all hospital staff.

"The idea was not to prepare for an examination and then move on. On the contrary, from the outset, we made our teams aware that this was a continuous improvement process designed to lead us towards world-renowned accreditation, demonstrating that a culture of quality is present in all our staff and underlining multidisciplinary collaboration," comments Lieven Mangelschots, Director of Care and Quality at the Europe Hospitals.

"Everything starts with the patient's computerised file. We then follow the patient's journey from the moment he or she enters hospital until discharge, and the support continues even after discharge, since monitoring the patient at home is included in the process".

All professions involved
This accreditation represented a major challenge, requiring the involvement of every member of staff, from every profession. "While the exercise required an incredible amount of work, the teams above all saw the benefits for patients and their families, as well as the dynamics and cohesion that emerged," stresses Lieven Mangelschots.

"In fact, from the outset, all the professions (doctors, nurses, paramedics, administrative staff, logistics staff, etc.) were involved and felt that they had a role to play in the process."

A professional organisation
"As well as guaranteeing quality and patient safety, obtaining JCI accreditation also means that we are part of a structure that is professional in its organisation. It means that we have well-functioning governance, and it demonstrates the ability of the different professional groups to carry out projects together," points out Dr Sebastian Spencer, Medical Director of the Europe Hospitals.

"The surveyors took a close look at the various procedures, consulted our experts and visited our departments to analyse how the procedures were working and being applied. They highlighted the excellent cooperation and expertise of all our staff and doctors. They were also impressed by the state-of-the-art equipment we have, in radiology, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and the operating theatre, for example. And last but not least, one surveyor told us that she would be completely reassured if she were to be treated in our establishment," adds Dr Spencer.

Et Peter Fontaine de conclure : « Au début d’un tel processus, les interrogations sont bien sûr légitimes. Mais aujourd’hui, tout le personnel est convaincu que l’accréditation a littéralement changé l’hôpital à tous les niveaux, non seulement en matière de soins, mais aussi dans les services de support par exemple. Au nom du Comité de direction de l’hôpital, je tiens à remercier chaleureusement l’ensemble de nos collaborateurs qui se sont donnés sans compter pour décrocher cette accréditation et pour améliorer les soins aux patients et la sécurité des patients jour après jour. »

Already on the road to the next stage
So what happens now that the institution has been awarded the certificate? "We were fully aware that this was not an end in itself, but that we were embarking on a long process. Today, our teams are being rewarded for the many efforts they have made over the last few years," says the Medical Director.

"This is the end of the first chapter and the beginning of the second, as we are now starting to prepare for the next assessment, which will take place at the end of the three-year accreditation period. This will ensure that our staff remain motivated and committed to continuous improvement. JCI regularly updates and refines its standards. It remains a major challenge to meet the stringent international requirements of this label," says Dr Spencer.

Peter Fontaine concludes: "At the start of such a process, questions are of course legitimate. But today, all the staff are convinced that accreditation has literally changed the hospital at every level, not only in terms of care, but also in support services, for example. On behalf of the hospital's Management Committee, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all our staff, who have worked so hard to achieve this accreditation and to improve patient care and safety day after day."