COHSASA accreditation of St. Nicholas Hospital

For over 50 years we have operated and functioned by our mantra “QUALITY CARE ALWAYS”.

What this meant and still means to us is that from the moment a patient walks through our doors, every member of staff and our patient-centric operations work together like a well-oiled machine to make the patients’ healthcare journey as pleasant and smooth as possible.

Despite being a leader in the Nigerian healthcare industry for half a century, we wanted to give our clients more reason to trust in the care we provide. We know and understand that hospitals are not tourist/vacation spots but what we wanted was to improve the patients’ experience regardless.

To this end, embarked on a mission to improve the quality of care we provide; in order to achieve this, we needed to be judged by the highest of standards (Why? Our patients deserve the best) and thus began our journey to seek for an international accreditation.

The relevant body to oversee our quest was Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA). With a history of being an unbiased and transparent accreditation authority in healthcare, we knew they were the right choice, especially with their motto being QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN HEALTHCARE.

Our journey for international accreditation began by us submitting our application in 2018. Phase 1 which commenced in March 2019 began with training and self-assessment guided by a team from COHSASA who spent a week at our facility to conduct a Baseline Survey.  They closely observed how we executed every service we offer and evaluated each against international standards. The data was used to generate a thorough but comprehensive report, which showed how each department conformed or fell short to the standards.  It also guided us on what had to be done to achieve compliance with the set standards.

St. Nicholas Hospital’s journey to international accreditation for quality improvement and patients’ safety in healthcare

Phase 2 required us to report data of our operations, and the COHSASA team were able to monitor the progress remotely.  It also came with support visits as required to make sure we were fully on track; COVID 19 hampered this, as travel bans were set in countries the world over. The pandemic was an all-hands-on-deck situation as the healthcare world rallied together to fight the coronavirus which threatened our very existence.

The effects of dealing with the pandemic carried over into the 3rd and final phase of our accreditation journey. We were confident that the setbacks would at best delay the process, but our positivity and desire to provide the utmost care to our patients gave us the confidence and belief that we would achieve accreditation.

This final phase required a survey to be carried out by a team of unbiased surveyors that had not been previously involved with training and supporting the hospital in the quality improvement process. It was a week-long process that entailed a detailed scrutiny of every one of our processes, services, operations, records, and equipment; even the professionalism of our staff members was put to the test. It was as though our entire organization was put under the proverbial microscope. There was no hiding place for laziness, mediocrity or excuses. Our ethos and devotion to our mantra “QUALITY CARE ALWAYS” was being challenged.

With the guidance of our MD/CEO Dr Dapo Majekodunmi, his “generals”; the Executive Committee, we had the confidence we would ace these tests. Our confidence is in our shared history and experience of taking on major and otherwise seemingly impossible tasks- like successfully carrying out the first kidney transplant in sub-Saharan Africa- for which we are still a national leader after 2 decades.

On Friday 20th May 2022, we got the call announcing that we had passed with flying colours and a near-perfect score of 96%. This was a culmination of a 4year journey which tested our loyalty and dedication to every patient who walked in through our doors.

Why did we go through all of this, you wonder? Quite simple really; our dedication to healthcare is absolute and Nigerians need not travel across the seas for healthcare because QUALITY CARE ALWAYS is here in St. Nicholas Hospital.

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