IKAS, The Danish Institute for Quality and Accreditation in Healthcare, develops, plans and runs the Danish accreditation programme for healthcare providers, called the Danish Healthcare Quality Programme (abbreviated: DDKM, referring to the name of the programme in Danish).
IKAS is an independent institution financed partially by public means, while private clients cover the costs related to their accreditation. It was established in 2005 and is supervised by a board of directors, including representatives from the Danish Health Authority, Danish Regions, the Ministry of Interior and Health, Local Government Denmark, The Association of Danish Pharmacies, and The Danish Chamber of Commerce, representing private hospitals. The first accreditation surveys were conducted in late 2009 in pharmacies and 2010 in hospitals.
IKAS offers a range of accreditation programmes, tailored for private hospitals, community pharmacies, ambulance services, community health care, specialist physicians practicing outside of a hospital setting, chiropodists, physiotherapists and clinically practicing psychologists. Standards have been developed and endorsed for dentists and dental hygienists, but a decision on potential launch of an accreditation programme awaits political clarification of the future organization of dental care for adults. All chiropractors and (with a few well-defined exceptions) all general practitioners (family medicine) have completed an accreditation cycle.
A new accreditation programme is developed, when the parties involved in providing publically financed healthcare in the sector in question have made the decision to launch such a programme and have agreed on the overall framework, including the economic framework. As an example, the programme for specialist physician practices is based on a clause in the agreement between the Organization of Specialist Physician Practitioners in Denmark and the Danish Regions, regulating provision of specialist physician services.
The public hospitals have completed two full three-year cycles of accreditation from 2010 to 2015.The Government and the Danish Regions then decided to discontinue accreditation of these hospitals in favour of other strategies to promote quality improvement. Accreditation continued to be offered to private hospitals; in 2020 a revision of the standards for private hospitals was performed in collaboration with Sundhed Danmark, the trade organization of Danish private hospitals. Participation is voluntary; all major private hospitals in Denmark and a substantial proportion of small clinics have been enrolled.
The accreditation programme for pharmacies is operated in cooperation with the Association of Danish Pharmacies and the Ministry of Health. Participation is voluntary; a large majority of pharmacies have been enrolled.
For health care practitioners, participation in DDKM is mandated for those working under the agreement in questions. Others, working in same field without any public financing, can join the programme. In such cases, a fee covering the expenses to IKAS, will be charged.
IKAS is committed to pursue the idea of accreditation as a fair and transparent peer evaluation, intended to promote and support continuous quality improvement, while at the same time keeping providers accountable for delivering safe care to patients and for complying with fundamental patients’ rights.
IKAS participates in ISQua’s International Accreditation Programme (managed by IEEA, https://ieea.ch/), is represented on the Accreditation Council of IEEA, and has valid accreditations as an external evaluation organization, for its surveyor training programme, and for selected standard sets (https://ieea.ch/accreditation.html)
In the three years 2018, 2019 and 2020, IKAS has accredited