Healthcare accreditation systems: further perspectives on performance measures.

School of Management, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care (Impact Factor: 1.58). 09/2011; 23(6):645-56. DOI: 10.1093/intqhc/mzr063
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to identify and suggest a number of performance measures to facilitate the evaluation of accreditation programs in healthcare.
The paper is based on an exploratory research which has used qualitative methods, including snowball sampling technique, email interview and thematic content analysis.
Respondents (experts and professionals) were selected from a diverse spectrum ranging from healthcare organizations, universities and accreditation-associated institutions.
The analysis of the data provided key measures to be considered in the evaluation of accreditation programs' impact at macro and micro levels as well as their nature and operations. The measures can be used to, for example, assess the degree of stakeholders' reliance on accreditation results, measure the cost of accreditation for participating organizations and serve as a formal mechanism for accredited organizations to appeal accreditation decisions.
This paper has brought together a number of generic, yet influential and workable, measures which could be utilized for assessing the overall performance of an accreditation program in healthcare. The application of these measures depends on the features of given accreditation program and the context in which the program operates. Therefore, the next step/steps in the assessment of an accreditation program might be choosing the measures suiting that program.

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