Kosovo hospitals continue having weak reputation due to their inability to deliver quality healthcare services to population. The reform initiated in 2011 aimed to improve the quality, adequacy and efficiency of healthcare services. The redesign of the organizational structure of healthcare institutions, including the establishment of the Kosovo Hospital and University Clinical Services (KHUCS) was one of the major pillars of the healthcare reform. KHUCS was designed as a unitary health institution composed of all secondary and tertiary healthcare institutions aiming to contribute to the integration and improvement of the quality of healthcare services.
During 2018 and 2019, the project team led by the Chief Technical Adviser, key international and national experts, supported both General Hospitals (GH) of Prizren and Gjilan in initiating improvement of the healthcare quality activities, which are integral part of KHUCS. In GH Gjilan, the team worked with the staff of internal medicine department, while in GH in Prizren with the surgery department. Gjilan Hospital was supported to develop standards of operation and patient information sheets for stroke, heart insufficiency and COPD while Prizren Hospital produced standards of operations and patient information sheets for appendectomy, cholecystectomy and abdominal hernia repair.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by health care institutions to help its staff to carry out complex routine procedures, while Patient Information Sheet (PIS) provides sufficient information for the patients for their health problems. SOPs and PISs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with professional standards. SOPs help to bridge the gap between evidence-based medicine, clinical practice guidelines, and the local realities at the point-of-care. They are necessary to remind clinicians of the need for medical evaluations and to monitor medication compliance. The use of SOPs has the added advantages, such are:
- Utilizing an optimized process for care;
- Implementation of best evidence-based medicine;
- Improved continuing medical education;
- Improved induction of new hospital staff;
- Integrated quality control;
- Transparency; and
- Enhanced protection from malpractice.
These achievements drawn interest by the leadership of KHUCS. Above mentioned quality standards gain application among all seven units of their public hospitals network. This may be first real step, toward longer term goal of international accreditation.
On 4th of July 2019, the board of KHUCS with an official decree approved six Standards of Operation (SOP), Patient Information Sheets (PIS), and informed consent sheet for clinical conditions of Appendicitis, Cholecystectomy, Hernia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Stroke and Heart Attack. This means that all public hospitals of Kosovo that are part of KHUCS network will be aiming to perform these procedures at international level standards. This is major progress considering that the use of clinical guidelines and a protocols for preventing, diagnosing, treating, and managing selected conditions was not enforced by legislation, and their use was left to individual initiative of medical staff.
This decision marks a peak of achievement for the General Hospital of Gjilan and Prizren, hospitals that have been supported through the “Health support Programme in Kosovo - KSV/017”.
When all these SOPs will be in place, the quality of patient care in Kosovo public hospitals will substantially improve. Hence approval of the first set of SOPs by KHUCS and their extension of implementation in Kosovo hospitals is a major step forward in improving the quality of care. This first step provides momentum to further development and extension of these quality assurance measures in other departments and clinical units of public hospitals in Kosovo.↑ To the top