Standards are developed in a formal process, involving stakeholders and a public hearing. In some cases a pilot test, including a test survey, is also performed. All standards are accessible to the public on the IKAS website. The standards include certain minimal requirements, but are also written to stimulate quality improvement. Thus it would be a mistake to read the standards as one would read a regulation from the Danish Health Authority or the Danish Patient Safety Authority.
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IKAS is an independent institution financed partially by public means, while private clients cover the costs related to their accreditation. The first accreditation surveys were conducted in late in pharmacies and in hospitals. IKAS offers a range of accreditation programmes, tailored for private hospitals, community pharmacies, ambulance services, community health care, primary care physicians general practice , specialist physicians practicing outside of a hospital setting, chiropractors, chiropodists, physiotherapists and clinically practicing psychologists.
Standards have been developed and endorsed for dentists and dental hygienists, but a decision on potential launch of an accreditation programme awaits political clarification of the future organization of dental care for adults.
A new accreditation programme is developed, when the parties involved in providing publically financed healthcare in the sector in question have made the decision to launch such a programme and have agreed on the overall framework, including the economic framework.
As an example, the programme for general practitioners was launched based on a clause in the agreement between the Organisation of General Practitioners in Denmark and the Danish Regions, regulating provision of general primary care medicine. The programme for private hospitals enables the regions to fulfill their regulatory duty to ensure the quality of services provided at their expense; while access to public hospitals is free, citizens have a statutory right to free care in the private sector, if the public sector cannot deliver timely care.
For health care practitioners, participation in DDKM is, with a few well defined exceptions, mandated for those working under the agreement in questions.
Others, working in same field without any public financing, can join the programme. In such cases, a fee covering the expenses to IKAS, will be charged. For pharmacies, ambulance services and municipalities, participation is voluntary.
A large majority of pharmacies are enrolled. The public hospitals have completed two full three year cycles of accreditation from to The accreditation of primary care physicians general practice will be concluded in The Government and the Danish Regions have decided to discontinue accreditation of these providers in favour of other strategies to promote quality improvement.
IKAS staff included 30 employees and 57 part time surveyors.
Introduction to DDKM
Metrics details. We designed a nationwide cross-sectional online survey of all senior and middle managers in the 31 somatic and psychiatric public hospitals in Denmark. Regression analysis examined differences in responses by age, years in current position, and management level. DDKM was found most useful for standardizing processes, improving patient safety, and clarifying responsibility in the organization.