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, community health care, primary care physicians (general practice), specialist physicians practicing outside of a hospital setting and chiropractors. Programmes will be launched for other out-of-hospital based healthcare practitioners over the next years.
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 general practitioners was launched based on a clause in the agreement between the Organisation of General Practitioners in Denmark and the Danish Regions, regulating provision of general primary care medicine. The programme for private hospitals enables the regions to fulfill their regulatory duty to ensure the quality of services provided at their expense; while access to public hospitals is free, citizens have a statutory right to free care in the private sector, if the public sector cannot deliver timely care.
For health care practitioners, participation in DDKM is, with a few well defined exceptions, 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. For pharmacies and municipalities, participation is voluntary. While a large majority of pharmacies are enrolled, the uptake among the municipalities is modest.
The public hospitals have completed two full three year cycles of accreditation, and the prehospital care (ambulance services) will in 2016 have completed two cycles as well. The Government and the Danish Regions have decided to discontinue accreditation of these providers in favour of other strategies to promote quality improvement.
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 ( http://www.isqua.org/accreditation/accreditation ) is represented on the Accreditation Council of ISQua, and has valid accreditations as an external evaluation organization, for its surveyor training programme, and for several sets of accreditation standards ( http://www.isqua.org/accreditation/accredited-by-isqua ).
As of Jan 1st, 2017, the number of clients of IKAS was: