Top 10 Questions about the GHA Program

Over the past two years GHA leadership has had the opportunity to meet with hospitals and ambulatory clinics across the globe. These many interactions have resulted in valuable learning experiences for the GHA team and have allowed us to better understand the needs and expectations of our potential clients. We felt it would be beneficial this week to include a top 10 list of the most frequently asked questions about the Global Healthcare Accreditation Program.

  1. We are already accredited by a recognized international (or national) accreditation. Should we still consider GHA?

Absolutely. It is important to understand that the GHA program complements existing national and international clinical accreditation programs. While these programs traditionally focus on the clinical aspects of care for the entire organization, GHA conducts a deep review of the International or Global Patient Services program, or the entity within an organization that serves the medical travel patient. Our standards focus on the entire continuum of care, beginning with selection and pre-arrival, through to admission, discharge, and aftercare.  In fact, you will find that a high percentage of our accredited clients already have an existing international or national clinical accreditation.

  1. We do not have an international patient department, can we get accredited by GHA?

 To pursue GHA accreditation, the organization must have a medical travel program (also known as international department or global patient services program) as an identified operational unit within the organization and one or more individuals identified as accountable for the daily operations of the program and the quality of the services provided. However, the size of the medical travel program is not important – a dental clinic or even a hospital may have only one or two people working with medical travelers while another organization may have 30 staff members assigned to their international office. For those organizations who do not have a medical travel program or an international office, GHA can provide custom advisory services to help develop these services.

  1. How will GHA accreditation benefit our organization?

There are multiple reasons to pursue GHA accreditation:

  • Enhance the patient experience

GHA strives to assure that the patient is actively engaged and that the organization is proactive in managing cultural sensitivities and communication at each touch point along the Medical Travel Care Continuum™.  GHA assists in mitigating any vulnerabilities at each touchpoint to facilitate an excellent patient experience. 

  • Improve performance

GHA accreditation creates awareness towards ongoing operational consistency and quantifiable performance regarding medical travel in order for organizations to improve over time.

  • Increase credibility

Third-party validation of your medical travel services. For patients and buyers of healthcare services, GHA provides an immediate means of recognizing the highest standard for medical travel services. GHA has been recognized by one insurer, Saudi Enaya, which is contracting with selected GHA accredited organizations as part of their network, as explained under question number five.

  • Raise visibility

GHA regularly participates in international healthcare events including hosting Medical Director Summits, participating in Ministerial Summits, roundtables and focus groups, while quickly building a growing social media presence. These initiatives and others have allowed us to develop a vast database that benefits our clients through visibility, connectivity, and networking events.

  1. Will GHA accreditation bring us more international patients?

GHA understands that the decision to pursue or not pursue GHA accreditation is often financially motivated, in addition to benchmarking against best practices for medical travel.  While as an accrediting body GHA cannot guarantee increased international patient flow to your organization, the accreditation process is designed to help your organization improve the patient experience and business performance across the entire Medical Travel Care Continuum™. You may be aware that recent studies demonstrate that improving the patient experience correlates to better health outcomes and higher financial margins for hospitals (Accenture – Patient Engagement: Happy Patients, Healthy Margins 2016). Additionally, the GHA Program offers guidance within its standards and requires ongoing reporting of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) unique to medical travel, ensuring that healthcare providers can accurately measure and track the performance of their medical travel program. Moreover, because GHA focuses on the entire continuum, those business functions within an organization that impact the medical travel program, such as Marketing, Finance, and IT are included. This ensures that organizations receive solutions that impact not just patient outcomes, but business performance and the organization’s financial bottom line.

  1. Do insurers recognize GHA accreditation?

GHA is working diligently to raise awareness of the GHA program and its benefits with insurers and other buyers of healthcare services such as governments and employers. Our advisory board includes representatives from top insurance companies including Cigna, AIG, AXA and Aetna International. In May 2018, Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Company announced that it will pursue contracts with selected healthcare providers accredited by the GHA Program. We are very proud of this collaboration as it aligns with our goal to provide long-term value to our clients who we view as strategic partners.

  1. How long does it take to achieve Global Healthcare Accreditation?

The typical time frame for GHA accreditation is between 2 to 6 months depending on the stage of development of the medical travel program and whether or not the organization has previously undergone a national or international accreditation. It is recommended that organizations allow for at least 6-8 weeks to adequately prepare for the accreditation site visit.

  1. What is the process or steps to pursue Global Healthcare Accreditation?
  • Schedule a call and complete the online application
  • Review and sign proposal of services
  • Payment provided
  • Access to GHA Standards manual and materials
  • Pre-site Video consultation
  • Prepare for evaluation visit
  • Accreditation site visit
  • Accreditation report & decision (delivered within 20 business days)
  • Annual reporting of KPI’s
  1. What accreditation categories are recognized by the GHA program?

The GHA Program presently maintains two accreditation categories:

  • Hospital (inpatient)
  • Ambulatory (outpatient), such as surgical centers and dental clinics
  1. Our organization focuses primarily on wellness programs, should we seek GHA accreditation?

Organizations that focus primarily on wellness may also benefit from GHA accreditation depending on the scope and type of services offered. For more information please contact us at [email protected] or call 561-228-4014.

  1. How much does GHA accreditation cost?

After completing a GHA online Application, each organization is provided an individualized quote based on their needs, goals and desired business solutions. For more information please contact us at [email protected] or call 561-228-4014.

*Medical travel is also commonly known as medical tourism or health tourism.