We talk with the EHNAC Executive Director, Lee Barrett, and ask – why now their time has come.

You could say it’s not what you say – it’s how you say it. You could argue that everything about EHNAC is a contradiction, a misnomer.

The image of silver-haired Lee Barrett as he sits back in his university-like Office, gently guiding me into his world – where he has been active for more years than I have fingers and toes – belies the relevance of EHNAC in the current medical world stage.

And that’s the problem. Or to put it another way in marketing-speak – maybe it is the “opportunity”.

EHNAC is a nationwide accreditation process for healthcare players. Up to now, and since its origins in 1993 – its focus has been to give you and I a framework, if you will, a set of guidance, that says you have passed the test – whatever that may mean. You would be forgiven to think that this is akin to taking your driving licence; you get the magic certificate, the nod from the examiner and off you go.

And this approach misses the point. Because EHNAC have moved on. To understand its importance, is to recognise that in getting accredited for your internal and external processes – you are protecting your entire business against the risk of the unforeseen. By complying with industry standards, you are mitigating your exposure to malevolence or just pure chance of things going wrong. A tick in the box from EHNAC means that your processes are reasonable and acceptable.

It’s not like the Assessors at EHNAC don’t have the know how to guide you. The academic atmosphere of Lee’s office gives rise to years of practical experience, across some of the key issues of modern healthcare, which EHNAC imparts to its accredited organisations as part of the deal.

EHNAC is currently active across all of the USA – and mandated in New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas, Compliance with individual State legislation is not a quick process at a government level. But it can be an immediate step at the individual vendor level.

In the litigious world we live in, never has Risk Management become so important. Lee’s parting words to me were:

“We are agnostic; our years of experience has taught us how to deliver standards that give a meaningful structure for each of our varied accredited organisations. What they actually do – is not important. It is how they do it”.

Lee can be contacted at HIMSS in his meetings onsite.