How COVID-19 Guidelines Benefit Patients
Learn How GHA’s Certification of Conformance with COVID-19 Guidelines Can Benefit You
As a patient considering medical tourism, your goal is to choose a healthcare provider that can offer you medical care that is safe and effective. Unfortunately, this task has become more difficult due to the current coronavirus pandemic and infection risks related to travel and healthcare delivery. As countries begin to lift travel restrictions due to COVID-19, it is important for healthcare providers and destinations to implement safety protocols that reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for you and your companion(s). To help mitigate the risk of infection for traveling patients and their companions, the Global Healthcare Accreditation (GHA) Program for Medical Travel Services has released COVID-19 Guidelines for hospitals and clinics with Medical Travel Programs (International patient services departments). The Guidelines provide specific examples of work protocols, practices and processes, based on referenced international authorities, in addition to selected and relevant GHA standards, to help keep you safe as you travel, during your stay at the destination, including your hotel and transportation, and, of course, during interactions with the hospital or clinic.
How Does the GHA’s Certification of Conformance Impact you as a Patient?
- Assures you that the Medical Travel Program has received a third-party external validation against international best practices and relevant GHA standards and that they have effective systems in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
- Assists patients to understand and use appropriate protocols for travel and accommodation prior to and post travel, as well as during admission and treatment.
- Promotes transparency when medical travel programs communicate special safety protocols to patients, such as:
• COVID-19 pre-screening and testing policies for patients and accompanying family or individuals.
• The potential need for postoperative or post treatment COVID-19 testing.
• Protocols to follow in the event that you or a companion test positive for COVID-19, including scenarios such as transfer to an Emergency Room, a local public health authority, quarantine or return home.
• Use of telemedicine or telehealth for pre-screening, testing, or monitoring while the patient is recovering offsite (such as at a hotel) to avoid unneeded interactions.
• Any necessary quarantine requirements after travel and before treatment based on local country requirements.
• Revised Family /Visitor/Companion guidelines and whether any restrictions or safety protocols are in place due the risk of contagion.
• Special protocols in place for sanitation and disinfection of the organization’s facility
- Provides assurance and peace of mind that your hotel complies with recognized industry-wide hotel cleaning and sanitation standards required by COVID-19. These include enhanced hotel cleaning, sanitation and infection prevention practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to mitigate risk and meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19.
- Helps educate and train the organization’s staff, by providing guidance on work protocols.
In short, the Certification of Conformance is a signal to you that the medical travel program is invested in assuring your wellbeing and safety throughout your healthcare journey.