The making of international certification

 

Can you provide a brief overview of the role of Temos in the medical tourism?

The medical tourism market knows Temos through our quality programs for hospitals, (dental) clinics, and rehabiltation centers. Facilities that receive the Temos certificate and quality seal have proven that they offer a high level of “Quality in International Patient Care” or “Excellence in Medical Tourism” and continuously work on their quality of medical and non-clinical services, patient and staff safety.

What is involved in Temos certification?

First of all: as a pre-condition a general quality management system hast to be already in place. Hospitals and clinics should first define their quality structure for national patients before they start dealing with international patients (which is definitely a challenge!) The Temos certification process covers the complete international patient care cycle of medical tourists starting with the preparation process in the home country followed by the delivery of medical and non-clinical services at the medical service provider in the destination country and also examines the post discharge and follow up services provided in the patient’s home country.

What’s the benefit to the hospital or clinic? Why should they bother?

According to our customers 100% of them are satisfied with our approach and would recommend us to others. They benefited e.g. by:

  •     “The chance to find the most effective way and the opportunity to improve the business”.
  •     “Being able to reorganize processes that systematized our daily work without additional bureaucracy”.
  •     “Significant improvement of our service quality and our procedures”.
  •     “Getting access to the international market and network of Temos stakeholders”.

What makes the Temos approach to certification different from the multitude of certification and accreditation programs that have appeared in recent years?

The Temos certification systems are based on a European research project. Temos is a spin-off of a German governmental research organization. Leading (travel) health insurances and assistance companies contributed to the development as a result of their experience and the existing lack of information about where to find “quality for international patients” worldwide.  We are neutral, independent, and externally controlled by two different Boards.  We do not have any obligations towards any members, external shareholders or funding. There are none.  We know what we are talking about. The international team of Temos assessors can rely on working experience from more than 60 countries worldwide.

How much does a hospital or clinic invest in Temos certification?

This depends on the size of the facility; between € 6,500 and € 40,000. The certificate is valid for three years.

What do you see as the key issues in the medical tourism market and what needs to happen to enable patients to make a more informed choice of hospital or clinic?

Whatever the reason is to travel for medical treatment, people want to find the most trusted medical service provider for their budget by using the different channels of information. There are excellent service providers all over the world but also „black sheep“. To separate the good and trusted medical service providers from the bad ones should be a mutual effort of the industry. The same applies for the so called medical tourism experts, consultants, and facilitators.

What can we expect from Temos in the future?

We have been following the market very carefully and see further demand regarding the necessary qualification of involved stakeholders in medical tourism. Therefore, we will support and offer further certification programs in the future.

In cooperation with TÜV Rheinland we are going to officially launch the “Medical Tourism Friendly Hotel” program (MTFH) on 13 June in Athens. The MTFH framework defines the special criteria for hotels involved in the medical tourism „cycle“ and will be audited and certified by TÜV Rheinland. The MTFH standard was developed and is approved by Temos International and we will support the applicants in terms of consultancy and preparation.

Another certification to be launched in autumn 2013 will be the Temos “Quality in International Reproductive Care” program which is currently under development. The topic is getting more important in the international medical tourism market but is still unregulated in many parts of the world and often associated with fear and unethical behaviour. The aim is to set a standard based on the existing internationally agreed guidelines including e.g. ESHRE and to combine it with the Temos quality criteria and a quality management program which includes the preparation and post discharge processes of the patient in the home country and the onsite procedures in the destination country.

We will continue with our annual Temos Conferences bringing together our partners, stakeholders, and interested parties. The 4th Temos Conference on medical tourism will take place in Bonn, Germany from 01 – 03 December 2013.

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