Quality Assurance of Healthcare Services – Quality Control Systems

In Hungary, the law (Act CLIV of 1997 on Health) prescribes for healthcare providers to operate internal quality control systems. This is approved by the modification of the ordinance about the minimum technical conditions necessary for the provision of health services (60/2003. EszCsM), which entered into force on July 1. 2012. These operate in the interest of service quality and patient safety.
Besides the often applied general quality control frameworks (ISO 9001), to date, some healthcare-specific frameworks also appeared (DIN EN 15224:2012) in the practice of healthcare providers. These include the definition of general quality requirements, and their benchmarking of performance, control, assessment, improvement and documentation; however, these do not include in a mandatory fashion any system of basic conditions relevant to the practice of professional activities. This is why the ISO framework is often complemented by a system of standards defining professional quality requirements as well (in Hungary, e.g., the Hungarian Standards for Healthcare (MEES) is such a system).
Every healthcare provider shall operate an internal quality control system, the main goals of which are:
  • to improve the quality of service, to get to know and to plan processes, to avoid or control possible errors, non-compliances;
  • to identify non-compliance, to investigate underlying reasons, to decrease relevant costs and possible damages;
  • to ensure compliance with professional and operational requirements;
  • to improve the proprietary system of requirements;
  • to take into consideration patients’ rights, their claims, their opinion;
  • to ensure an environment that supports efficient and secure work.
Albeit it is not an obligation of healthcare providers to operate a quality control system accredited by an external, accredited certification agency, several publicly and privately financed providers have one.

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