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Metropolitan Health business units awarded SA’s first ISO compliance certificate for disease management

19 August 2011 Metropolitan Health
Far reaching benefits: Siraaj Adams, Senior Manager, HIV Department for Metropolitan Health Risk Management, believes that the ISO certification not only signals their readiness for NHI but will also improve quality and service.

Far reaching benefits: Siraaj Adams, Senior Manager, HIV Department for Metropolitan Health Risk Management, believes that the ISO certification not only signals their readiness for NHI but will also improve quality and service.

A gruelling six-month audit process has resulted in Metropolitan Health, the largest administrator of healthcare in South Africa, receiving ISO: 9001:2008 certifications for two of its business units.

Their HIV unit is the first disease management programme in the country to be awarded the prestigious international certificate.

Following closely on its heels was the Pharmaceutical Benefit Management -- Unit.

The certification not only provides an extra assurance of quality for clients, it also signals the company’s readiness for NHI, in terms of compliance standards.

The ISO certification shows that Metropolitan Health Risk Management (Pty) Ltd, a division of Metropolitan Health, is ready and able to manage a nationwide disease management programme to the highest possible standards.

“This achievement is only the start in our mission to improve the quality of service that our products are associated with,” said Khaya Gobinca, Managing Director of Metropolitan Health Risk Management (Pty) Ltd.

Gobinca confirmed that there are plans for ISO certification to be rolled out to the company’s remaining products.

The audit process was conducted in three stages.

The initial audit established a baseline, and enabled the units to determine the gaps in the systems which were in place. Under scrutiny were the documentation, performance management, quality assurance and service level agreements. A second audit was designed to assess the corrective and preventative action process.

The final phase of the process involved two further audits: the external audit was undertaken by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), which is an independent ISO accredited body. This was then followed by a final, internal operational audit that confirmed implementation.

“This was a multi-site certification, covering all our offices,” said Siraaj Adams, Senior Manager, HIV Department for Metropolitan Health Risk Management. “For the HIV Department, it also covers all the medical schemes in which we work, including POLMED, as well as the corporate and employer-group clients.”

The process may have been rigorous, but the benefits are far reaching.

“From a client perspective, this should increase confidence in the quality of the excellent products we offer,” Adams said, “and we have seen a huge increase in internal productivity as well. We also expect to see improved clinical outcomes, in terms of improved monitoring and focus on treatment plan adherence on our programmes.”

The certification is granted for three years, and maintenance audits will be performed each year to insure that compliance is maintained.

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