Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions of Serbia (AZUS) was founded in October 2008, to perform professional, regulatory and development activities in the process of accreditation of healthcare institutions. It started its operations in July 2009, aiming to fulfill its designated duties that include establishment of health care accreditation standards, evaluation of quality of health care provided to general population, decision making in health care accreditation management issues, awarding accreditation status and issuing public accreditation certificates, and keeping records of accreditation certificates issued.
Funds for the establishment of the Agency for Accreditation were provided from the Budget of the Republic of Serbia. Project â€œEstablishment of the Agency for Accreditation and Continuous Quality Improvement of Health Care in Serbiaâ€, funded by the European Union, was launched in July 2009, and in two years of its duration it ensured capacity building of the Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institution through technical assistance it provided. All throughout the Project duration, Agency staff and External Surveyors were in continuous training. Here you can download booklet describing results and activities conducted during this project in detail (PDF).
The development of accreditation programme of Serbia started in 2005 with the Project â€žSerbia Health Projectâ€œ, joint project of the Ministry of Health and the World Bank. The SHP helped preparing several articles at that time of the new Health Care Law (2005), setting the basis for the establishment of the Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions of Serbia. The first set of standards was prepared in 2006 for the accreditation of hospitals and in 2007 for primary health care institutions. This work was conducted through the Ministry of Health Working Group and the international consultant Ms. Elma Heidemann who drafted the standards. Further development of standards continued in Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions of Serbia. Project â€œEstablishment of the Agency for Accreditation and Continuous Quality Improvement of Health Care in Serbiaâ€, funded by the European Union and Agency formed a special working group for standards development for laboratories, pharmacies and diagnostics imaging. This working group together with Ms. Elma Heidemann developed draft standards for accreditation of laboratories, pharmacies and diagnostics imaging. For the design of the Serbian accreditation system ISQua (International Society for Quality in Health Care) standards were adopted as the benchmark.
In September and October 2010 over 90 external surveyors were trained. The training programme for external surveyors was jointly developed by the Agency, the Belgrade School of Medicine/School of Public Health and the project.Â Eleven CME training courses on quality and accreditation were approved by the Belgrade School of Medicine and Serbian National Health Council, attended by the health professionals (doctors, nurses / technicians, lawyers, economists, engineers).
Surveys in 9 pilot sites (5 public and 4 private health care institutions â€“ General Hospital in Uzice, General Hospital in Zrenjanin, Dom zdravlja in Leskovac, Dom zdravlja in Kragujevac, Pharmacy in Subotica, General Hospital Bel Medic, Dom zdravlja Dr Ristic, Pharmacy Farmanea, Biochemical laboratory Biomedica) occurred in November and December 2010. Teams of surveyors have been formed from a group of trained surveyors.
On January 5, 2011 managing board of the Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions of Serbia adopted Secondary and Tertiary Health Care Accreditation Standards and Primary Health Care Accreditation Standards and approval by the Government was obtained at the session on March 24th, 2011.
Most of the activities of the Agency in 2011 focused on the implementation of accreditation in health care institutions that participated in joint projects of the Ministry of Health and the World Bank â€œSerbia Health Project-additional financingâ€œ, and â€œDelivery of Improved Local Services-DILSâ€.
During May and June 2011 accreditation surveys were conducted in 10 primary health care institutions and 5 hospitals (Primary health care institutions Ada,Â Bela Palanka,Â Indjija, Knic, Knjazevac, Osecina,Â Svilajnac, Vozdovac, and Zagubica, Hospital Sabac, Clinical Hospital Center “Dr Dragisa Misovic-Dedinje”, Hospital Sremska Mitrovica,Â Zajecar, Pozarevac and Vrbas).
In the period from October to December 2011 accreditation surveys were conducted in the following health care institutions: Clinical Center of Serbia – Gynecology and Obstetrics, Institute for Health Protection of Mother and Child “Dr. Vukan Cupic”, Clinical Center Kragujevac, Hospital Leskovac, Jagodina, Sabac, Smederevo Palanka and Primary Health Care Institutions Dimitrovgrad, Kladovo, Lebane, Lucani, Novi Pazar, Ruma , Sjenica, Topola, Velika Plana and Vlasotince. Also, during this period the formal accreditation was conducted in health institutions that were in 2010 pilot sites as part of the project â€œEstablishment of the Agency for Accreditation and Continuous Quality Improvement of Health Care in Serbiaâ€, funded by the European Union and in accordance with the Bylaw on accreditation of health care institutions of Serbia (Primary Health Care Institution Leskovac, Hospital Zrenjanin, Hospital Bel Medic and the Institute for Laboratory Diagnostics Biomedica).
Since September 2010 the Republic Scientific Committee for Clinical Guidelines development and implementation was established within the Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions of Serbia, by decision of the Ministry of Health. Agency for Accreditation of Health Care Institutions of Serbia is providing RSC for Clinical Guidelines Development and Implementation with expert, technical and organizational support. During 2011 eight new national good clinical practice guidelines were developed: diagnosing and treating lipids disorders, ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, lung cancer, depression, hypertension, treatment of adult hernia and thyroid dysfunction. Development of guidelines was supported byÂ joint projects of the Ministry of Health and the World Bank â€œSerbia Health Project-additional financingâ€œ, and â€œDelivery of Improved Local Services-DILSâ€.