Managing to improve quality: the relationship between accreditation standards, safety practices, and patient outcomes.

School of Nursing, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Health care management review (Impact Factor: 1.3). 34(3):262-72. DOI: 10.1097/HMR.0b013e3181a16bce
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Given the trend toward eliminating reimbursement for "never events," hospital administrators are challenged to implement practices designed to prevent their occurrence. Little evidence exists, however, that patient safety practices, as evaluated using accreditation criteria, are related to the achievement of patient safety outcomes.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between patient safety practices, as measured by accreditation standards, and patient safety outcomes as measured by hospital rates of infections, decubitus ulcers, postoperative respiratory failure, and failure to rescue.
Secondary data were used to examine relationships between patient-safety-related accreditation standards and patient outcomes in U.S. acute care hospitals. Accreditation performance areas were reduced into subscores to represent patient safety practices. Outcome rates were calculated using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient Safety Indicator software. Multivariate regression was performed to determine the significance of the relationships.
Three of four multivariate models significantly explained variance in hospital patient safety indicator rates. Accreditation standards reflecting patient safety practices were related to some outcomes but not others. Rates of infections and decubitus ulcers occurred more frequently in hospitals with poorer performance in utilizing patient safety practices, but no differences were noted in rates of postoperative respiratory failure or failure to rescue.
Certain adverse events, such as infections and decubiti, may be reduced by preventive protocols that are reflected in accreditation standards, whereas other events, such as failure to rescue and postoperative respiratory failure, may require multifaceted strategies that are less easily translated into protocols. Our approach may have influenced the observed associations yet represents progress toward assessing whether safety practices, as measured by accreditation standards, are related to patient outcomes.

1 Follower
  • Source
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to elicit hospital staff's knowledge, attitudes, and current practices regarding hospital standards and to assess the level of motivation for staff and hospitals to meet new standards. This was a qualitative study using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with staff in four hospitals. There was no intervention. Four rural public and private not-for-profit hospitals in central Uganda. Medical superintendents and other staff of four hospitals in Uganda who were familiar with the use of standards and had participated in a previous Uganda national accreditation program (Yellow Star). All staff expressed strong support for the development and implementation of hospital standards, but also said they would need more recognition and ongoing motivation. They cited the need for technical assistance, funding, and training as the main obstacles. Key areas requiring standards were: infection control, cleanliness and hygiene, infrastructure and medical records. There was strong support for the development and implementation of hospital standards. The main perceived obstacles to the implementation of hospital standards are resource limitations and technical capability. There is a need to develop and implement preliminary standards for hospitals in Uganda.
    International Journal for Quality in Health Care 09/2009; 21(6):421-6. DOI:10.1093/intqhc/mzp044 · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hospital accreditation and International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) certification offer alternative mechanisms for improving safety and quality, or as a mark of achievement. There is little published evidence on their relative merits. To identify systematic differences in quality management between hospitals that were accredited, or certificated, or neither. Research design of compliance with measures of quality in 89 hospitals in six countries, as assessed by external auditors using a standardized tool, as part of the EC-funded of Assessing Response to Quality Improvement Strategies project. Compliance scores in six dimensions of each hospital-grouped according to the achievement of accreditation, certification or neither. Of the 89 hospitals selected for external audit, 34 were accredited (without ISO certification), 10 were certificated under ISO 9001 (without accreditation) and 27 had neither accreditation nor certification. Overall percentage scores for 229 criteria of quality and safety were 66.9, 60.0 and 51.2, respectively. Analysis confirmed statistically significant differences comparing mean scores by the type of external assessment (accreditation, certification or neither); however, it did not substantially differentiate between accreditation and certification only. Some of these associations with external assessments were confounded by the country in which the sample hospitals were located. It appears that quality and safety structures and procedures are more evident in hospitals with either the type of external assessment and suggest that some differences exist between accredited versus certified hospitals. Interpretation of these results, however, is limited by the sample size and confounded by variations in the application of accreditation and certification within and between countries.
    International Journal for Quality in Health Care 10/2010; 22(6):445-51. DOI:10.1093/intqhc/mzq054 · 1.58 Impact Factor