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Press Release

March 25, 2011

Well Performing Health Institutions in Sri Lanka to be Recognized
JICA Supports the Ministry of Health to Organize the National Health Excellence Award Ceremony

The Ministry of Health will announce and present awards to well performing government healthcare institutions from all over Sri Lanka on Saturday 26 March 2011 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. The award ceremony is supported under the Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) project on "Improvement of Quality and Safety of Healthcare Institutions in Sri Lanka" and aims to motivate healthcare institutions towards service improvement.

Gold, silver and bronze awards will be presented to the best performing institutions in eight categories including large, medium and small scale hospitals; primary medical care units, Medical Officers of Health; specialized public health unit and campaign, health management unit and training institutions. Other well performing institutions will also receive merit and commendation certificates.

The best performing institutions were selected by 16 evaluation teams comprising Ministry of Health officials and health experts from over 480 applications received from healthcare institutions across Sri Lanka in November 2010. Hundred and sixteen healthcare institutions were shortlisted and were invited to make presentations highlighting their efforts and performance in quality and safety improvement. Evaluation team members also visited the shortlisted institutions to conduct detail assessments of their service quality.

A key feature which contributed to the efficient and precise selection of award winners this year, was the development of a series of National Guidelines for Improvement of Quality and Safety of Healthcare Institutions (available on www.health.gov.lk/QSHI.htm). These guidelines, developed by 30 health experts at workshops, were distributed to all the participating healthcare institutions prior to initiating the preliminary assessment and were used when developing the scoring system for the assessment and the final evaluation. Health officials state that these guidelines provided clear directions to the participating institutions and facilitated the quality and safety improvement activities at each institution.

It was also noted during the selection process that all participating institutions have followed the Japanese 5S concept, a major area highlighted in the guidelines. The 5S concept, or simply "5S" which stands for Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke (which when translated mean Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise and Sustain), is a structured programme to systematically achieve total organization, cleanliness, and standardization in the workplace. By perfecting this concept health institutions can improve quality and safety of their workplace and promote Total Quality Management. The concept was introduced to the government hospitals in Sri Lanka in early 2000.

Since July 2009 JICA has been supporting the Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen the national capacity in improving quality and safety of services provided by government healthcare institutions under the project "Improvement of Quality and Safety of Healthcare Institutions in Sri Lanka".

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