Every public hospital in the state is to be inspected twice every three years under a new monitoring program run by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
Each hospital will receive an announced inspection and an unannounced inspection from Hiqa staff under the program.
The inspections will focus on the leadership, governance and management of the services, and how the services ensure that the rights of the patients who use them are properly respected, according to the watchdog.
“We will also focus on service safety, assessing key areas of infection prevention and control, medication safety, care transitions and care for deteriorating patients, such as sepsis. “said Hiqa’s director of health care regulation, Sean Egan.
“During these inspections, we will also look at the conditions under which care is provided in the emergency departments, as well as in other key clinical areas.”
Mr Egan said significant efforts were still needed to allow the health service to recover from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the cyberattack on HSE IT systems and capacity issues.
“This monitoring program emphasizes quality improvement while continuing to address concerns as they arise.”
The scheme will only cover public hospitals: Hiqa should have the power to inspect private hospitals, but legislation to give effect to this has yet to progress in the Oireachtas.