- How to ensure safe and high-quality treatment for international patients?
- What does it mean when a clinic is accredited?
- How many standards do clinics must cover to be certified?
- What does it mean that a professional is “fully trained”?
- What questions should I ask the clinic before I choose it?
Accreditation for IVF clinics - benefits for patients and the clinics themselves
In this webinar, dr. Claudia Mika, the Founder & CEO of Temos International Healthcare Accreditation is explaining why IVF clinics need accreditation and how can patients benefit from that.
Questions and Answers from the event
What are the most important questions that I should ask the clinic before choosing? What accreditations are most important?
It was my last presentation I gave in April on this topic, so you can go back to this presentation where all the details have been explained. We have many different parts which are definitely important, like how they communicate with you, if the professional expertise is there, if the technical equipment is there and what accreditations are most important. The problem with fertility clinics is that there are not many accreditations available worldwide. For a long time, fertility clinics were handled like ambulatory care clinics, which is not correct because we have a special group of patients, and we have the laboratory and the treatment, so two parts which are very important and have to work together. So ambulatory care accreditation does not cover what’s going on in fertility clinics. As far as I know, and this was one of the other reasons why we developed such an accreditation system including the laboratory part and the medical part in one accreditation because it was not available worldwide. I think we are the market leader, we are unique with what we offer, and you can look for laboratory accreditation only the ART laboratory, this is available, but for accretion itself, there’s not much available unfortunately yet. We are here to change that situation for you definitely.
How did you get accreditation for TEMOS International Healthcare’s accreditation? Is this a government ruling for the rest of the world to the FDA? I have researched and spoken to several clinics that have FDA approval and registered in Europe for SEG Coding. They seem to have all the points you have mentioned, so why would they need your accreditation, is it so that you could recommend them? I assume this involves a cost for the agencies and clinics? Can you provide details of the costs?
In Temos International, the standards are accredited by ISQua, The International Society for Quality in Health Care (IEEA), so this is the accreditation body for accreditation bodies and the only in the world. All the international accreditation bodies do have accreditation from this organization. FDA is U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so they don’t have standards but in some of the countries and the clinics have to be licensed somehow and have to get the approval, and for the licensing and approval, they have to fulfil the standards we have as an acquisition body. But patient management, patient-centred care is not part of any FDA approval, so therefore that’s a completely different direction.
It’s not the legal approval, we are talking about the patient-centred care and continuous care which is supported by technical licensing related stuff definitely and other very important parts.
When it comes to our accreditation, nobody needs to go for it, it’s voluntary, everybody can choose, however as I tried to explain a bit when we talk about non-clinical services and harmonization, cooperation within the team this is covered as well as outcome measures, this is covered by accreditation. I assume this involves a cost for the agency and clinics, so if the agency is the facilitator, then there is no fee for an agency, this is a completely different story. The clinic, of course, has to pay for the services. If they want to qualify, they have a benefit, they have an added value because of accreditation and of course they have to pay for it. The cost depends on the size and the number of cycles for fertility, and it starts between 7 and 8 thousand euro, and it goes up to 15 – 17 000 euros roundabout for the accreditation and for the 3-year cycles we have an annual fee around about 1 000 euro in addition. This is just approximate, but it’s published, we have a calculator on our website, you can check it there or get back to me to get a more detailed cost estimate.
How can I be sure that the information provided by the clinic for example success rates are indeed real
The simple answer is, you can’t. If you haven’t seen the numbers and figures how they measure it, they can publish anything. This is something where we have an eye on when we go and do the accreditation, and we ask for the success rates, then we ask okay how do you base that on, can we see the raw data, and we want to see that. But published information on the website doesn’t tell you anything, that’s the tricky part of it. Unfortunately, and I don’t have a better answer for you, you can just believe them, I mean if the clinic has a good reputation, they will not lie or give you false information. They have an intention to get the best reputable information about them, but how to compare and if they don’t explain transparently on what they base the success rates, we have this discussion in April in the presentation, and afterwards, in the discussion, it’s very difficult. This is why we focus to look in more detail.
Have you been able to add any additional requirements to make sure that the clinics are taking every measure when it comes to preventing the COVID-19
When the pandemic started in March and April, we were contacted by some of our partner clinics and hospitals who had to completely close the clinics. They contacted us and said okay what do we need to do, we are closed now, we were never closed, so what do we have to do to reopen, can you help us to prepare and at that time we sat together with the experts here in the team, and we started developing standards on how to prepare or what we call the COVID-19 safe standards, so we have a guideline now of 7 chapters of standards, how to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID- 19 in clinics and hospitals. We are not talking about how to treat COVID-19 patients because this is covered worldwide, we talk about what to do, how to protect stuff and how to protect patients and visitors and relatives from getting COVID- 19, so these standards are available free of charge, so this was our contribution, we said the economy worldwide also in the healthcare of course completely went down, so we want to help, and so we developed these standards, so everybody even patients, if they’re interested, can go on our website, just go on the COVID- 19 buttons, and there’s more information about the standards, and you can simply download them after registration on the website and then you can see how you should prepare to be able to accept patients in a safe environment. This is what we did, and we do have a certification system for it. It’s not a must, so the standards as I said are free of charge, but if somebody wants to get our evaluation, our assessment and the confirmation that they are COVID- 19 safe, our assessors check it and we provide a certificate as COVID- 19 safe clinic.
Which clinics in Ukraine are accredited? In which other countries do you cooperate with clinics that are accredited?
At this moment, none of them, not in Ukraine. We have in Greece, you can see the complete list on our website and look for the accredited partners. You will see a long list, not only fertility clinics but also hospitals and dental care etc. You can just check-in, we have clinics from Columbia to Thailand and hospitals, not all of them are fertility clinics because the fertility clinic application is rather new, so it’s our version 1.0 which we finalized last year, but for the other organizations, you can see them all listed with additional information where they are, what they focus on etc., that’s all published free of charge on our website.
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