How ISO standards support World Health Day

April 6, 2018

Health matters, and access to health services, quality care and safe medical practices and equipment is a fundamental right for everyone, everywhere. Good health and well-being are also one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations’ new roadmap to improve people’s lives by 2030.

World Health Day, April 7, is part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) drive to support countries in moving towards Universal Health Coverage,

Not only is the WHO a key partner of ISO, but there are more than 1,300 International Standards that focus on health across all kinds of sectors, from public health and medical devices to health informatics and traditional medicines.

ISO technical report ISO/TR 14639, Health informatics—capacity-based eHealth architecture roadmap, for example, provides best-practice guidance on the implementation and use of information and communication technology, and a framework for health authorities to use when building their own eHealth architecture, leading to better public healthcare services.

In addition, standards like ISO 13485, Medical devices—Quality management systems—Requirements for regulatory purposes, help ensure medical devices meet all the regulatory requirements for quality.

What’s more, a new ISO technical committee has recently been formed to help reduce global healthcare costs of health facilities. Lee Webster, Secretary of ISO/TC 304, Healthcare organization management, said a number of standards are currently in development to help them improve their effectiveness and reduce waste.

“Healthcare organizations account for around 10% to 20% of the world’s GDP,” he said, “and the lack of standardization in their organization management practices means there is room for improvement, particularly across international boundaries.

“A new series of standards in development will help to reduce waste, improve data transparency and improve interdisciplinary cooperation, resulting in better healthcare at lower costs. What’s more, recent research suggests patient satisfaction and outcomes are also improved in well-managed healthcare environments. So everyone wins.”

ISO has the full story

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