Many organizations assess and accredit hospitals in general, but the part of the hospital that many medical tourists come into contact with is the international patient centre. A new independent organization, The Medical Travel Commission, has been set up to offer accreditation specifically for international patient centers.
The Medical Travel Commission is based in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Founder Jim Tate has worked as a consultant with healthcare related companies across the world, ranging from Sri Lanka and Israel to Pakistan and Peru, providing health information technology services. Having witnessed disparities in services provided to international patients, he aims to create best in class service standards that will benefit hospitals, agencies and prospective patients. The Commission has Dr. Stewart Hamilton as its Chief Medical Officer, with over two decades of experience across the world. Bambi Rose is Director of Certification, and has worked for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.
The Medical Travel Commission team includes medical officers, hospital CFOs, published security authorities, legal experts, experienced post-acute care professionals, certification professionals and medical records managers. There is an advisory board to oversee the process.
The organization aims to create the optimal experience for international patients by the certification of international customer service standards. They believe that a transparent credentialing process for healthcare providers;
•Helps hospitals gain credibility among potential medical tourists.
•Enhances medical tourism agencies abilities to educate prospective patients.
•Delivers a quality assurance promise to patients and their care providers that minimizes cultural or communications obstacles.
The Medical Travel Commission has assembled a diverse team of healthcare advisors to establish benchmarks for the delivery of quality service, and develop reviews, audits, and recommendations. The onsite review is performed by a team that includes certification as well as clinical expertise.
It certifies hospitals that support medical travel and the care of international patients and has created an educational review process leading to certification that includes support of best practices to increase credibility in the medical travel industry through transparent and unbiased standards.
Jim Tate says that the first certifications are expected to be awarded very soon, “Final preparations are being made for the notification of the initial recipients of the 2012 Medical Travel Commission Certification. The certification is only awarded to those hospitals that have successfully met 100% of our stringent criteria."