In 2005, the Zulekha Healthcare Group decided to embark on the journey of accreditation to provide quality and safe services to patients. Through the process of accreditation, we wanted to achieve the standardization of our processes and systems, strengthen patients’ trust in the organization’s concern for patient safety and the quality of care, provide a safe and efficient work environment, listen to patients and their families, respect their rights, and involve them in the process of care as partners and create a culture that is open to learning from the timely reporting of adverse events and safety concerns. Joint Commission International (JCI) which accredits the highest number of hospitals each year and chosen by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) was our obvious choice. The strategy used was simple, we wanted to do it ourselves without the involvement of any consultants, we wanted to build the culture of quality within the organization even if it takes time, and we were willing to wait. This is when we established a dedicated quality department involving a few clinicians in this process. We developed quality systems and successfully achieved JCI accreditation for our two hospitals in 2007 and reaccredited in 2010, 2014 and 2017. In the year 2015, two of our newly added services in Sharjah, Chemotherapy and Dialysis have undergone the JCI extension survey and are successfully accredited. Zulekha Hospital Sharjah is the first hospital to be accredited by JCI in the Northern Emirates.
JCI is an internal arm of The Joint Commission (TJC), United States accrediting hospitals and other healthcare settings worldwide (outside US). Founded in 1994, JCI is the recognized leader in international healthcare accreditation and has its presence in five continents.
In February 2017, Zulekha Hospital, Sharjah and Dubai underwent a rigorous on-site audit for four days each. During the audit, a team of Joint Commission International expert surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to a variety of areas, including the International Patient Safety Goals, patient assessment and care, anesthesia and surgical care, medication management, patient and family education, quality improvement, infection prevention and control, governance and leadership, facility management, staff qualifications and education, and information management. The team of surveyors found the hospital policies and procedures were in compliance with the JCI 5th edition hospital standards and applauded the efforts of the hospitals in ensuring compliance.
Post accreditation, Zulekha Hospital continued its efforts in ensuring full compliance with the JCI hospital standards at all times. The accreditation process has helped us in identifying critical components of patient safety and building systems and processes to ensure safety, resulting in the increase in our patient satisfaction rates.
We implemented European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model which has 9 criteria in it – Leadership, Strategy, People, Partnerships & Resources, Processes, Products & Services, Customer Results, People Results, Society Results and Business Results. Business Excellence Department of Dubai Economic Development awards the organizations with the “Dubai Quality Award” which has three levels of honors for implementing the EFQM Excellence Model successfully. Zulekha Hospital had begun its journey on implementing the Excellence model as it provides a holistic approach of running the business. We received the Dubai Quality Appreciation Award (DQAP) and Dubai Quality Award (DQA) in the year 2007, 2011 and 2014 respectively. This helped us looking at the organization holistically, measure and improve many of our processes and improve not only the patient’s satisfaction but also all other stakeholders as well.
After each assessment by well trained and immensely experienced DQA assessors, we received their valuable feedback in the form of a report identifying our areas for improvement. This served as a gold mine for us to further improve our systems and processes and provide best care to our patients and run the business more effectively in coordination with various internal and external stakeholders.
In the year 2017, we also received “Sharjah top 10 Businesses Award” for the cycle of 2016. This award is also based on the EFQM Excellence Model given by Sharjah Economic Excellence Network (SEEN) of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce. The assessors conducted a two days rigorous assessment evaluating all the nine criteria of the excellence model and found our processes and systems meeting those requirements, following which we were awarded with the top 10 businesses award. We also received a valuable feedback report from the awards office which has helped us in further polishing our processes and systems.
In the year 2017, we also won “The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Excellence Award (MRM)” for 2016 cycle. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MRM) Business Award, among the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives, was initiated in 2005 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to recognize and celebrate the success of organizations that contribute to the sustainable economic development of the UAE and the greater GCC region. The MRM award Model looks at Strategy and Leadership at its core. In addition, it looks at Innovation, Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Customer, Workforce & Talent Management and Operations & Processes and Financial & Marketplace. The organization went through a rigorous assessment by trained and experienced assessors and received valuable feedback from them for continued improvements.
Zulekha Hospital Dubai laboratory received its first CAP accreditation in the year 2012 , followed by re-accreditation in the year 2014 and 2016. Zulekha Hospital Sharjah has also been awarded with CAP accreditation in the year 2016. The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is an internationally recognized program designed for laboratory services and the only one of its kind that utilizes teams of practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors. The College of American Pathologists (CAP's) Laboratory Accreditation Program accredits the entire spectrum of laboratory test disciplines with the most scientifically rigorous customized checklist requirements. Designed to go well beyond regulatory compliance, the program helps laboratories achieve the highest standards of excellence to positively impact patient care.