KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — An audit has been ongoing at all private PPVs, including general practitioner (GP) clinics, participating in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) as part of quality assurance since the start of the programme.
ProtectHealth said that this quality improvement audit is aimed at ensuring that the Covid-19 vaccination process is conducted in a proper and efficient manner at private vaccination centres.
The audit covers two aspects, namely the preparedness of the clinics to administer Covid-19 vaccines, and the vaccination process in the clinics.
ProtectHealth had sent a document to private GP clinics participating in PICK in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya on November 12, requesting them to provide information and pictures related to the Covid-19 vaccination programme by November 24.
Dr Shanmuganathan, honorary secretary of the Federation of Private Medical Practitioners Associations Malaysia (FPMPAM) and a GP, expressed his dissatisfaction towards the documentation process required by ProtectHealth as part of this audit.
He said that the private and specialist clinics participating in PICK should not be asked to go through the time-consuming documentation process.
Dr Shanmuganathan asked if ProtectHealth has approval from the Private Medical Practice Control Section (CKAPS) before sending an email that requested the participating clinics under PICK to fill up the audit document.
“Your calling for the GPs and specialists to do your audit work is most appaling,” Dr Shanmuganathan mentioned in a reply email to ProtectHealth on November 17.
“Your letter implies that private practitioners are your employees or clerks to do your audit work. You want to do an audit, then do respect doctors’ time, cost and effort.
“If you are willing to compensate doctors for the effort, time in the midst of all that we are doing, to do your work, that would be better. We are here to treat patients. Please remember this always when you engage us and please do not threaten the private practitioner fraternity with suspension with a deadline to boot.”
ProtectHealth CEO Anas Alam Faizli said that the entity is responsible in assisting the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ensure quality vaccination services provided by private Covid-19 vaccination centres in the country.
“ProtectHealth does random audits on our providers, does audits when there’s data anomalies detected through our monitoring and also does audits when there’s incident reporting or complaints received,” Anas told CodeBlue.
“ProtectHealth has also additionally recently initiated ‘off-site’ quality monitoring of vaccination services whereby partners are emailed a form requesting feedback on some vital information regarding the facility, vaccination procedures and processes conducted by clinics.
“With this information, ProtectHealth will be able to continuously monitor and assist our partners in adhering to the high quality standards. Random on-site audits and related supervisions at health care facilities are also conducted on a regular basis by ProtectHealth.”
Anas pointed out that participating clinics are responsible for maintaining all documents related to the Covid-19 vaccination programme and to provide related documents if necessary, citing the terms and conditions stated in the letter of appointment.
“ProtectHealth respects and appreciates the time, efforts and contributions from all our partners. We work hand in hand with CKAPS to ensure that high quality standards are maintained by all our partners,” said Anas.
“We applaud all our partners for engaging voluntarily to participate in this national agenda and welcome any feedback in ensuring excellent quality of care and services.”
ProtectHealth’s audit document requires information on the availability of IT equipment complete with internet access, the number of support staff, trained health care personnel, and regular staff in private and specialist clinics participating in PICK.
The participating clinics were also asked to include pictures of the clinic’s waiting, screening, registration, consultation, vaccination, and observation areas, as well as the treatment or emergency room.
The GPs were asked to attach pictures of cold boxes used for vaccine collection, with a view of the internal arrangement of the ice pack and thermal data logger device, internal and external views of the fridge that stores vaccines, and the completed temperature chart for vaccine storage.
In order to audit the clinics’ preparedness to administer Covid-19 vaccination, clinics participating in PICK should also attach an authorisation letter of representative to collect vaccines, state the distance between the clinic and vaccine storage centre (PSV), and a one-week report detailing the temperature log from the thermal data logger.
As part of the audit, relevant clinics were asked to share images of the MySejahtera QR code at the entrance, the temperature scanner device, the vaccination QR code, completed pre-vaccination clinical assessment forms, and images of the GP or vaccinator with full personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency equipment available at the clinic.
ProtectHealth said that Covid-19 vaccination services may be suspended in clinics that fail to submit the required documents by today.
ProtectHealth Corporation, a company owned by the Ministry of Health, is an implementer managing the participation of private medical practitioners in PICK. So far, private medical practitioners have delivered nearly half, or 48 per cent, of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country.