Temos International Healthcare Accreditation: Responding to COVID-19 with Innovation, Expertise, Focus and Commitment
The COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on healthcare system worldwide including accreditation organizations to make decisions quickly and under extreme stress. Here is a look at how Temos is responding to the COVID-19 crisis with expertise, innovation, focus, and heart.
Rejecting the Virtual Option for Accreditation: When borders closed causing the postponement of on-site accreditation assessments, the Temos team briefly discussed and quickly dismissed the idea of offering virtual accreditation assessments. With more than 400 standards to be evaluated and assessed, the on-site visit is an indispensable part of the process.
The on-site visit allows for shared learning, relationship building, and experiencing the hospital or clinic operations first-hand. No virtual experience can replace what assessors see, hear, smell, taste, and feel just as patients would. The decision was made to reject this approach and postpone on-site visits until travel can safely resume.
While other accreditation agencies went “virtual”, the TEMOS team decided to maintain its high standards rather than compromise the process that all of its clients deserve.
Closing the Business – Not an Option: Pausing on-site accreditation visits means lost revenue and significant financial consequences. QHA-Trent Accreditation made its difficult business decision to close its doors in October 2020 after more than a decade in business. The leadership of QHA contacted Temos and recruited its team to help QHA clients transition to Temos accreditation. The two organizations are working together to ensure that QHA-Trent accredited providers and the patients they serve are well cared for by Temos. Other accreditation organizations may be forced to take the same decision as QHA-Trent. Time will tell.
Innovation – The Way Forward: The severity of the COVID-19 situation quickly became apparent to the Temos team. There was an immediate need for solutions and guidance among hospitals and clinics to assure patients and staff that the risk of transmission was being reduced. The Temos response is its “COVID-19 Safe” certification program.
Rigorous review of best international practices, available research, and the team’s experience in other pandemic and emergency situations was rapidly distilled and standards created to form the foundation of TEMOS’ first of its kind COVID-19 Safe program. Temos’ unique online tools, used by clients to measure their compliance with each standard, were adapted to the COVID-19 Safe certification program. Then some business decisions were made.
Transparency – Leadership during a Crisis: TEMOS is the first accreditation organization to make the standards for its COVID-19 program free of charge to anyone, anywhere who wanted to download them. Doing the right thing and helping combat the pandemic are more important than profiting from the standards or denying access to providers that need the information.
Second, TEMOS’ COVID-19 Safe certification program offers a paid option for clients who can engage the full array of Temos’ services, including access to its online tools , international team of experts, and review of compliance with the program’s 60+ standards. A virtual visit was developed exclusively for the COVID-19 Safe certification program to ensure compliance without compromising the integrity of the program. With its focus on minimizing the risk of COVID transmission, the team decided that the virtual visit, photos, documents, and a virtual tour assured an accurate assessment of compliance.
By making the standards free and available to all, TEMOS took a calculated risk. The COVID-19 certification program has been very successful – the standards have been downloaded by 170 organizations on six continents. Further, dozens of hospitals and clinics are engaged in the Temos certification process. New providers continue to sign up for the COVID-19 Safe program as it becomes apparent that the virus is going to be with us for a long time.
Third, the decision was made to continuously update the standards for free as more is learned about this disease. Temos recently issued version 3.0 of the COVID-19 Safe standards which are automatically forward to our clients. This process keeps our clients, assessors, and regional office affiliates informed of the latest research and developments.
Fourth, new standards – telehealth and telemedicine as well as crisis communications – were included in the COVID-19 Safe program. TEMOS clients were quickly creating or improving telehealth & telemedicine services and looking to Temos for guidance regarding international best practices. Our team of experts focused on the essential standards for these evolving service needs and launched them in this program. Based on the feedback from clients, these standards are vitally important now and for the future. While introduced as part of our COVID-19 Safe program, they are being incorporated into all of our accreditation programs.
The risk of the program’s standards being used without permission or copied by competitors was accepted as part of the company’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Both of these scenarios have happened. As the saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. The Temos team is duly complimented and committed to leadership as well as innovation regardless of what others do.
The pandemic is far from over. As healthcare providers struggle to manage the health and safety of patients and staff, TEMOS continues to face these challenges, focused on its clients and the patients they serve. And as more is learned as the science evolves, TEMOS will continue to gather, distill, and distribute these insights with innovation, focus, and confidence. Through collaborations based on trust, we will weather this storm and come through this test together, stronger than before.
Want to learn more about accreditation? Visit the website for Temos Headquarters or contact Temos USA today for more information about our services:
Elizabeth Ziemba, JD, MPH, Director for Temos USA Regional Office
US Office: Tel/WhatsApp: +1 (857) 366 – 1315
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