Every public hospital in the State is to be inspected twice every three years as part of a new monitoring programme conducted by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
Each hospital will receive one announced inspection and one unannounced inspection from Hiqa staff as part of the programme.
The inspections will focus on leadership, governance and management of services, and how services ensure the rights of patients using them are properly respected, according to the watchdog.
“We will also focus on service safety, assessing the key areas of infection prevention and control, medication safety, transitions of care and care for patients with deteriorating conditions, such as sepsis,” said Hiqa’s director of healthcare regulation, Sean Egan.
“During these inspections, we will also review the conditions in which care is provided in emergency departments, as well as in other key clinical areas.”
Mr Egan said major efforts were still required to enable health services to recover from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the cyberattack on the HSE’s IT systems and capacity issues.
“This monitoring programme places an emphasis on driving quality improvement while also continuing to respond to concerns as they arise.”
The programme will cover only public hospitals: Hiqa is due to be given the power to inspect private hospitals but legislation to give effect to this has yet to progress through the Oireachtas.