[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accreditation has become ubiquitous across the international health care landscape. Award of full accreditation status in health care is viewed, as it is in other sectors, as a valid indicator of high quality organisational performance. However, few studies have empirically demonstrated this assertion. The value of accreditation, therefore, remains uncertain, and this persists as a central legitimacy problem for accreditation providers, policymakers and researchers. The question arises as to how best to research the validity, impact and value of accreditation processes in health care. Most health care organisations participate in some sort of accreditation process and thus it is not possible to study its merits using a randomised controlled strategy. Further, tools and processes for accreditation and organisational performance are multifaceted.
To understand the relationship between them a multi-method research approach is required which incorporates both quantitative and qualitative data. The generic nature of accreditation standard development and inspection within different sectors enhances the extent to which the findings of in-depth study of accreditation process in one industry can be generalised to other industries. This paper presents a research design which comprises a prospective, multi-method, multi-level, multi-disciplinary approach to assess the validity, impact and value of accreditation.
The accreditation program which assesses over 1,000 health services in Australia is used as an exemplar for testing this design. The paper proposes this design as a framework suitable for application to future international research into accreditation. Our aim is to stimulate debate on the role of accreditation and how to research it.
BMC Health Services Research 02/2006; 6:113. · 1.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze research into accreditation and accreditation processes.
A multi-method, systematic review of the accreditation literature was conducted from March to May 2007. The search identified articles researching accreditation. Discussion or commentary pieces were excluded.
From the initial identification of over 3000 abstracts, 66 studies that met the search criteria by empirically examining accreditation were selected. DATA EXTRACTION AND RESULTS OF DATA SYNTHESIS: The 66 studies were retrieved and analyzed. The results, examining the impact or effectiveness of accreditation, were classified into 10 categories: professions' attitudes to accreditation, promote change, organizational impact, financial impact, quality measures, program assessment, consumer views or patient satisfaction, public disclosure, professional development and surveyor issues.
The analysis reveals a complex picture. In two categories consistent findings were recorded: promote change and professional development. Inconsistent findings were identified in five categories: professions' attitudes to accreditation, organizational impact, financial impact, quality measures and program assessment. The remaining three categories-consumer views or patient satisfaction, public disclosure and surveyor issues-did not have sufficient studies to draw any conclusion. The search identified a number of national health care accreditation organizations engaged in research activities.
The health care accreditation industry appears to be purposefully moving towards constructing the evidence to ground our understanding of accreditation.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care 07/2008; 20(3):172-83. · 1.79 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper aims to investigate how health care accreditation surveyors enact their role with a view to identifying a surveyor styles typology.
This study was conducted in two phases. First, observational research was used to examine the conduct of a small survey team during the 2005 accreditation survey of a rural health service in Australia. The survey team was from the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), the major health care accreditation agency in Australia. Second, the emerging typology was reviewed by an expert panel of ACHS surveyors.
A typology comprising three unique surveyor styles is identified--interrogator; explorer; and discusser. Additionally, a further style, the questioner, is hypothesised. RESEARCH LIMITATION/IMPLICATIONS: The typology has application for development by accreditation agencies to be used with surveyors as a self-reflection tool to improve learning and development. The knowledge gained about surveyors' styles can be used to match more effectively survey teams to organisations seeking accreditation. Further research is necessary to confirm these styles and examine whether other styles are apparent.
This study is an important step in examining the conduct of surveyors and opening up health care accreditation surveyor inter-rater reliability for further investigation.
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 02/2008; 21(5):435-43.
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