St. Catherine Specialty Hospital awarded the most prestigious hospital accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI)

St. Catherine Specialty Hospital, a European center of excellence, organized a press conference on the premises of the Hospital at Branimirova 71E in Zagreb, for the presentation of the most significant global accreditation in the field of healthcare "Gold Seal of Approval®", by the world's leading accreditation institution in the field of healthcare, the Joint Commission International (JCI).

St. Catherine became the first Croatian healthcare institution accredited by the JCI. JCI attested that St. Catherine Specialty Hospital works in accordance with the most excellent global healthcare standards, both in the provision of healthcare and in the area of patient safety. The JCI accreditation procedure lasts several years and represents the highest accreditation standard in healthcare. It is extremely demanding, both from the healthcare, financial, technological and professional aspects and objectively shows the state of individual healthcare institutions. As a result, this is why only the most excellent healthcare institutions decide to start the process of obtaining JCI accreditation, but once an institution is awarded the "Gold Seal of Approval®" by the JCI, it joins the short list of elite hospitals and strongly promotes its institution and home country. Since it is an accreditation carried out in the most developed countries of the world, such as the USA, JCI accreditation is the basis for earning trust in a healthcare institution and a key factor in the development of health tourism, as it guarantees patients from abroad excellence in work and safety during medical procedures. JCI accreditation is held by leading world health institutions such as Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. JCI constantly supervises accredited institutions and repeats the re-accreditation procedure every three years. The work of the JCI places an emphasis on the criteria of excellence in the provision of health care, which includes the evaluation of interdisciplinary and comprehensive patient care with a special emphasis on anesthesia and surgical procedures, the evaluation of therapy prescribing practices, an evaluation of the hospital IT system management, especially medical documentation, the evaluation of prevention and control infection, evaluation of the security management system, evaluation of "facility management", evaluation of the knowledge of employees and their professional competences, evaluation of the work of the hospital administration, etc. Exceptional attention is paid to the area of patient safety, which includes prevention, early detection, elimination and improved protection for patients and personnel against unwanted events during the health care process.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia has recognized that health tourism can be a year-round export of high added value. Internationally accredited institutions and highly educated and professional healthcare workers with international experience, who provide services at a high level, represent great potential for the development of year-round health tourism in the Republic of Croatia.

"It is a great honor for me to be here with you today. First, I would like to congratulate Prof. Primorac and the whole team for what you have achieved, because you have achieved a great promotion of Croatia. When I say promotion, I mean primarily the quality of the healthcare service, the quality of our healthcare professionals, which is top-notch in innovation and excellence. You are hereby promoting Croatia as a health tourism destination, which is our goal, our main direction. The main concept of the Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy until 2030 is the orientation towards year-round sustainable tourism, and this is achieved by turning to health tourism and all those potentials that we already have, for which we needed time to become aware that we have them and use them. Our top experts are number one in the world, not only in Europe, you are proof of excellence and I congratulate you on that. What the government of the Republic of Croatia started with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and is already implementing is that through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan we negotiated with the European Commission a large investment cycle for health tourism. We are talking about 289 million euros, some for public and some for private tourist infrastructure, and a large part of the funds is specifically intended for health tourism. Likewise, in the negotiations with the European Commission, we have agreed on 190 million euros worth of investments through operational programs, whereby a large part of the package is also intended for health tourism. We can be proud of ourselves, and proud of St. Catherine Specialty Hospital, because these are truly great achievements. You have shown today that another step forward can be made, and therefore a big congratulations on that", pointed out the Minister dr. sc. Nikolina Brnjac. Accompanying Minister Brnjac, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Josip Pavić, also attended the event.

Prof. Dragan Primorac pointed out that "Croatian health tourism can only be built on the principles of excellence, and in the eyes of, for example, an American patient, the key criteria for recognizing excellence is JCI accreditation." I thank the entire team of the St. Catherine Specialty Hospital for the great and dedicated work that resulted in this accreditation. Therefore, we are proud to have assumed a leadership role in this segment as well, and knowing the quality and possibilities of Croatian healthcare, I am convinced that others will follow in our footsteps.”

“Joint Commission International accreditation provides hospitals with the processes contributing to improvements in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the demonstration of leading practices within the hospital setting. We commend St. Catherine Specialty Hospital for its efforts to become a quality improvement organization, and achieving this pinnacle demonstrating a commitment to patient safety and quality.”, said Joel Roos, MD, MBA, MHCDS, CPE, vice president, International Accreditation, Quality Improvement and Safety, Joint Commission International.

The JCI Director for Europe, Asia and Africa, Mr. Murat Kucukkay, said during the video call: "I congratulate Prof. Primorac on JCI accreditation, which represents a great achievement not only for St. Catherine Specialty Hospital, but for the whole of Croatia. St. Catherine Specialty Hospital is the first hospital with JCI accreditation in Croatia, which shows the excellence in the work of the hospital, the real dedication of all employees in achieving the highest standards of excellence in healthcare, which inspires.”

„St. Catherine Specialty Hospital is pleased to receive the accreditation from Joint Commission International, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the world. Staff from across the organization continue to work together to develop and implement approaches and strategies that have the potential to improve care for the patients in our community.”, added prof. Igor Borić, M.D., Ph.D., Hospital Director.

St. Catherine Specialty Hospital is the official hospital of the Croatian national football team and the Croatian Olympic Committee and it annually treats more than 50,000 patients from Croatia and abroad, including elite level athletes from all continents. The Hospital is a teaching base for the medical schools of University of Split, University of Osijek, University of Rijeka and Regiomed Medical School in Bavaria and a strategic partner of the largest American hospital, UPMC. In St. Catherine Specialty Hospital patients are cared for by more than one hundred and fifty healthcare professionals, including 75 highly trained doctors, over 19 centers of excellence. The hospital in one place provides its patients with the most modern diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation approach on par with the world's leading health institutions. The hospital is a European leader in the application of the integrated concept of personalized medicine in clinical practice, such as pharmacogenomics, the use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of cartilage damage, the use of predictive genetic tests with the aim of early detection or prevention of cancer, but also a number of other diseases and the analysis of key genes (294) associated with the occurrence of sudden cardiac death. By decision of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia, St. Catherine Specialty Hospital was declared a member of the "Scientific Center of Excellence for Personalized Health Care (ZCI)".

Joint Commission International (JCI) founded in 1951 and headquartered in Washington D.C. and Oakbrook Terrace (Illinois) in the USA, is the largest, most demanding and most prestigious world institution that carries out accreditation procedures of hospital healthcare institutions. In addition to all of the above, JCI evaluates the ability of a health institution to assess and monitor the objective state of that institution through internal mechanisms, and the results are compared during each evaluation with the results of evaluation by external evaluators. At the same time, the JCI program provides a comprehensive framework for quality management in the organization of the work of a healthcare organization and specifically evaluates the quality of leadership and management. In addition to the above, JCI emphasizes the assessment of the scientific and translational capacity (the possibility of integrating the latest knowledge into clinical practice) of healthcare institutions.

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