While it is common to assume that most US, Canadian and European healthcare facilities are accredited, in fact very few healthcare facilities in Latin America are accredited. This is due to a long history of hospitals and clinics only serving local markets paired with protectionism which ensures stability but reduces competitiveness. Most healthcare providers in Latin America have received only the minimum certification required by law. However, international healthcare accreditation organizations are increasingly reaching out to the Latin American market, because it has become the primary destination for large numbers of medical tourists from the United States.
For many healthcare providers, international accreditation is perceived as an expense. Accreditation may also require a facility to improve its processes and procedures. This means that in addition to the cost involved in the process and the training, there may be staff time that has to be invested in order to obtain and keep the accreditation. However, empirical experience has proven that international accreditation works as an investment. Organizations that achieve accreditation receive a return on investment.
Companies such as Acreditas Global, one of Latin America’s leading organizations awarding healthcare accreditation, have helped visionary healthcare providers gain an important competitive advantage. They receive by far a greater share of the influx of foreign patients than do their non-accredited counterparts.
The reason for this is simple. Local hospitals have typically relied on their local reputation and a captive market. However, the medical or dental tourist patient is not a captive patient and doesn’t have past experience or a clear understanding of a hospital’s reputation. So, from a patient’s point of view, any given hospital is just another in a long list. However, the patient does understand that international accreditation sets a hospital far above the others.
Latin American healthcare providers are discovering that accreditation is worth both the cost and the time. Inevitably many international healthcare providers will ultimately join this worldwide trend as they discover that accreditation is essential to maintain competitive viability. However, today’s leaders that embrace accreditation will begin to benefit from accreditation today.
We encourage patients to consider the advantages of accredited medical and dental facilities for reliable care that conforms to international healthcare standards.