CEN Focus Group on Healthcare Services (HSFG): enhancing the quality, efficiency and safety of healthcare services
Standardization in the area of healthcare services has experienced an increase in the number of initiatives. Healthcare services in hospitals and ambulatory care centres are heavily standardized by private, semi-private and public organizations that can be of national, European and international nature. International examples include Joint Commission International (JCI) and Health Standards Organization (HSO). Other standardization bodies in this field include associations of hospitals or medical doctors, quality institutes or private consortia. In recent years, healthcare services standards also have been developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and its members at European and national levels.
Given the importance of this field, the CEN Technical Board decided in March 2016 to establish a Focus Group on Healthcare Services (HSFG) with the aim of exploring how standardization can support quality, efficiency and safety in complex healthcare services throughout Europe. The Focus Group held its first meeting in November 2016.
The Focus group is open to all stakeholders concerned with healthcare services and its meetings are attended by representatives of CEN National Members and representatives of European organizations covering the spectrum of healthcare services. The third meeting of the group took place on 13 November 2017 at CEN-CENELEC Meeting Centre in Brussels.
Currently, CEN’s HSFG is doing a mapping of standards in healthcare services. The objective of the exercise is to have a better overview of existing standardisation activities in the field of healthcare services and subsequently to determine whether and where CEN can add value vis-à-vis other organisations.
The expected outcome of the Focus Group is therefore to identify areas in which European standards can add value and propose a way forward for addressing them. Moreover, the Focus Group will produce a CEN Guide – a manual for standard writers in healthcare services. The Guide will consolidate current knowledge and lessons-learnt from the developed European Standards in this field in order to share this experience with interested stakeholders.
The following areas are outside the work scope of the Focus group:
· Medical informatics and medical devices;
· Cross-border recognition of professional qualifications;
· Medical/clinical guidelines based on evidence-based medicine.