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HCA hospitals pioneer revolutionary real time hygiene auditing system

HCA’s six leading independent hospitals in central London have all been awarded the top five star status for cleanliness and safety in the first UK survey by the revolutionary electronic Quality Inspection Tool, e-QIT.

The hospitals, The Wellington, The London Bridge Hospital, The Harley Street Clinic, The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, The Lister Hospital and The Princess Grace Hospital, have consistently achieved high standards of cleanliness in recent years.  In 2009 for example, there were no cases of hospital acquired MRSA in any of them.

The revolutionary new e-QIT system uses special hand held computers loaded with a comprehensive database which includes the complete layout of hospital buildings from the largest wards and theatres to the smallest cupboards.  External inspectors can then use the tool to inspect, photograph, log and report on infection control, cleanliness, infrastructure, décor and health and safety issues – in real time.

e-QIT was developed by Infection Control Services Ltd, a company formed by six consultant microbiologists, in collaboration with HCA International Ltd. 

Project leader for HCA, Sue Smith, who is also Chief Executive Officer of the Princess Grace Hospital, said that before e-QIT was developed, an inspection was only as good as the person who looked at the audit results.  “Until now systems of inspection and audit have really only been a paper trail and there was always a danger that things would be overlooked.  There was little or no accountability,” she said. 

“Now we have a mobile, flexible tool with a huge database which includes current legislation and regulations and which demands that non compliant situations be dealt with immediately and under the responsibility specific manager.  The system, which automatically uploads findings onto our IT network, simply won’t allow problems to be left or forgotten,” she said.

The leader of the e-QIT development team at Infection Control Services, microbiologist Michael Shemko, said one of the goals was to make e-QIT future proof.  “Legislation is changing as new methods of improving hygiene and health and safety in healthcare become available.  When the goal posts change, e-QIT can be immediately upgraded and this in turn, modifies inspection and compliance criteria,” he said.

HCA International President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Neeb, said he was delighted with the success of the new system.  “I congratulate everyone involved in this most important project.  This is an industry first and the result of an innovative partnership which will enable all healthcare providers to create and maintain a culture of constant high standards in infection control, cleanliness and health and safety,” he said.



For further Press Information about HCA, please contact Neil Huband on 07808 298989 or 0207 436 6372.

Note to Editors:
HCA International Limited owns the six leading private hospitals in London, each with an international reputation for the highest standards of care.  They are: The Wellington – the largest private hospital in Europe, The London Bridge Hospital, The Harley Street Clinic, The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, The Lister Hospital and The Princess Grace Hospital.

HCA also has four outpatient and diagnostic centres – soon to be five – a blood and bone cancer treatment joint venture with the NHS at University College Hospital; the London Gamma Knife Centre, a joint venture brain cancer treatment centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and Harley Street at Queen’s, an HCA/NHS joint venture private patient cancer centre, soon to be opened at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.   The company also owns HCA Laboratories, one of London’s major healthcare laboratories.

The six HCA hospitals in London treat around 300,000 patients per year.  They specialise in the most complex medical procedures. The HCA Cancer Network, for example, is the largest provider of cancer care outside the NHS.  

Medical teams in HCA are also involved in research programmes aimed at finding new treatments in areas such as heart disease and cancer.

In recent years HCA has invested more than £200 million in capital expenditure including new diagnostic and treatment technology.  As an example, HCA recently installed at The Harley Street Clinic, the revolutionary robotic CyberKnife radiotherapy machine, which is able to target previously untreatable tumours.  It is the first machine of its kind in the UK.