The Portuguese national health accreditation program - does it fit a public health unit reality?
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USP Entre Douro e Vouga I, Portugal
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1735
Background and Objective:
The Portuguese National Health Accreditation Program (NHAP), based on the Quality Model of the Andalucia Agency, has adequate characteristics, answers to the main needs of the Portuguese health system and it’s suitable for most of the healthcare institutions in Portugal. The main goals are to verify if the NHAP is applied in the context of Public Health Local Units and if it has specific criteria directed to these institutions.

It was conducted an audit of the Public Health Local Unit Entre Douro e Vouga I, with the format of the ISO 19011 guideline. It was based on the 41 required elements of group I of the accreditation model for healthcare institutions, determined by the NHAP.

It was found that is not fully applicable in the context of a Public Health Local Unit since there are no specific requirements or criteria aimed at the function of these institutions, which have quite different particularities, such as the lack of clinical activity or the fact that they don’t have results that are easily measured. 7 of the 41 requirements were evaluated as non-applicable to the context of Public Health, since they were connected to functions and responsibilities out of the Public Health Unit context. Furthermore, the requirements of NHAP model, appears to be addressed to the user of the institution as a singular form, and not to the population as a whole, which makes the process of certifying Public Health Local Units very difficult, since these, with some exceptions, intervene in the community and not in a patient itself.

It’s urgent to develop a specific manual for the reality of Portuguese Public Health, with the creation of a consultancy and guidance organization for the certification processes of these institutions.

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