SMMC welcomes independent audit



CAY HILL – On April 20, the first independent audit of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) will commence, in accordance with the request of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) for an audit of the Medical Center.

This three-day audit (April 20-22) will be a baseline assessment to determine the current state of the hospital, and to help develop an appropriate action plan that will guide the hospital towards international standards and JCI accreditation. SMMC considers the audit a positive opportunity to sustainably grow the hospital, particularly in preparation for the new hospital. It is important to the development of healthcare on the island that high quality standards be used with consideration that the standards remain appropriate to the country. To properly assess St. Maarten’s healthcare system, the organization believes that international benchmarks that reflect St. Maarten can advance healthcare the way the island needs it.

The last independent audit of the organization was done in 2016, with the focus placed on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The audit at that time was conducted by an Intensivist (board-certified physician specialized in critical care), who came from Curaçao to conduct the audit. The outcome of the previous audit was positive, indicating the strides the hospital has made to provide quality care.

Additionally, the audit supplied measures for further improvements, which the hospital is implementing currently. The upcoming audit will be conducted by an independent, external consultant Everard van Kemenade, who holds a PhD in Quality Management and has extensive experience as a quality manager and consultant for more than a decade. Van Kemenade is also familiar with the island and the culture of St. Maarten, as he has previously been involved in quality improvement projects in collaboration with the White and Yellow Cross in St. Maarten for at least two years.

Improving care in the best interest of the patients and the community remains the objective and the independent audit supports that goal.