Health care that is driven by quality across a range of services within the hospital system is attractive and marketable to other countries. The image of hospitals as upmarket hotels can be transported but only through the application of consistent, safe and considerate patient care. Establishment of a hospital accreditation system in Lebanon, once fully implemented will pave the way for the provision of good quality of health care. As the accreditation system matures the standards will further develop and quality assurance and quality improvement will lead on to the more precise measurement of health outcomes.
A broad range of quality measures will be discussed in this paper to show that when the ethic of quality is embedded within the health system, the delivery, utilisation and growth of acute hospital services in Lebanon is more attractive to local patients and neighboring countries. It is vital that the concepts of quality assurance and quality improvement be seen as critical and not as an adjunct to hotel services, and quality and accommodation standards are not viewed in isolation. The development of quality hotel services is linked quite clearly to quality generally, whether it is in the building/infrastructural component, the furbishing component, equipment or the patient care services.
Quality assurance principles and hospital accreditation address quality of care deficiencies and harmful and/or wasteful practices, and can stimulate debate between public and private providers, policy makers and consumers on what practices conform to the latest reliable evidence. This promotes a wider dissemination of knowledge. Increased knowledge and awareness by the public ensures that hospitals achieve greater throughputs because of the public's faith that the hospital is able to meet the wide range of quality standards.
Hospital management have often remarked during visits of the OPCV Survey Team that unless a hospital provided "the full options"- that is a complete range of the latest sophisticated medical technology - then it was not considered to be a good hospital. Scant attention is paid to whether the size and complexity of the hospital warrants a complete range of equipment, or indeed whether the hospital can provide the qualified staff necessary to operate such equipment safely. The image of what constitutes a good hospital is generally supported by the current Hospital Classification system and it this image that is required to be changed through the implementation of quality assurance/improvement to support the marketing of Lebanon's hospital services to other countries. A public education campaign is therefore a concomitant exercise to be carried out in parallel with the development of the quality approach .