ABSTRACT: /st> To evaluate the effectiveness of utilizing the patient journey survey (PJS) method in healthcare accreditation processes.
/st> Randomized trial of the PJS method in parallel with the current accreditation survey (CAS) method of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).
/st> Acute healthcare organizations in Australia.
/st> Seventeen organizations, 28 organizational staff, nine surveyors and 38 patients.
/st> The results of each surveying method were compared. Participants provided feedback, via 18 interviews and 40 questionnaire surveys, about the benefits and disadvantages of a PJS compared to a CAS.
/st> The PJS method is not as comprehensive as the CAS method for accreditation assessment. In matched assessments the majority of items were rated lower by the PJS method than by the CAS. PJSs were shown to be appropriate for assessing mandatory clinical criteria, but were less effective for assessing corporate and support criteria. The two methods diverged in their final assessments of which organizations met the accreditation threshold. Participants endorsed the use of PJSs within accreditation processes.
/st> The PJS methodology complements but is not a substitute for existing accreditation methods. There is significant stakeholder support for the inclusion of the PJS method within the current accreditation programme.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care 07/2012; 24(5):495-500. · 1.96 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To evaluate short notice surveys in accreditation programmes.
Two trials using short notice surveys were conducted independently: a study of 20 healthcare organizations with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) and a study of 7 general practices with the Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL). Participating organizations volunteered. ACHS and AGPAL selected 17 and 13 surveyors, respectively, and provided training for them on short notice surveys.
Each agency's short notice surveys were an abbreviated version of their current advanced notification surveys. Short notice surveys assessed accreditation programme criteria or indicators that corresponded to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care's priority issues. Fifteen (out of 45) ACHS criteria and 48 (out of 174) AGPAL indicators that aligned to the Commission's criteria were evaluated. Participating organizations were given 2 days notice prior to the short notice surveys. Ratings from the short notice surveys were compared with those from the most recent advanced notification surveys, and statistical tests were performed to detect differences and potential confounding factors. Surveyors and organizational staff completed a post-survey feedback questionnaire which was analysed thematically and by inferential statistics.
The short notice survey approach overall produced ratings congruent with the advanced notification survey for both accreditation programmes. However, for both programmes short notice surveys assessed that more organizations would not reach the accreditation threshold as compared with the previous survey. Organizations in both programmes were judged to have achieved less successful performance against clinical standards by the short notice survey than the advanced notification survey. There was support from surveyors and organizational staff for short notice survey to be adopted. However, there were mixed views about the impact of short notice surveys and whether they validated trial participants' continuous improvement efforts.
The study demonstrated that short notice surveys are more critical in their assessment of clinical than administrative or corporate items. Short notice surveys, while broadly comparable with existing advanced notification survey practice, produced different accreditation outcomes for a significant proportion of the study organizations. The overall value and worth of short notice surveys remains to be proved.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care 12/2011; 24(1):65-71. · 1.96 Impact Factor
Service accreditation is a structured process of recognising and promoting performance and adherence to standards. Typically, accreditation agencies either receive standards from an authorized body or develop new and upgrade existing standards through research and expert views. They then apply standards, criteria and performance indicators, testing their effects, and monitoring compliance with them. The accreditation process has been widely adopted. The international investments in accreditation are considerable. However, reliable evidence of its efficiency or effectiveness in achieving organizational improvements is sparse and the value of accreditation in cost-benefit terms has yet to be demonstrated. Although some evidence suggests that accreditation promotes the improvement and standardization of care, there have been calls to strengthen its research base.In response, the ACCREDIT (Accreditation Collaborative for the Conduct of Research, Evaluation and Designated Investigations through Teamwork) project has been established to evaluate the effectiveness of Australian accreditation in achieving its goals. ACCREDIT is a partnership of key researchers, policymakers and agencies.
We present the framework for our studies in accreditation. Four specific aims of the ACCREDIT project, which will direct our findings, are to: (i) evaluate current accreditation processes; (ii) analyse the costs and benefits of accreditation; (iii) improve future accreditation via evidence; and (iv) develop and apply new standards of consumer involvement in accreditation. These will be addressed through 12 interrelated studies designed to examine specific issues identified as a high priority. Novel techniques, a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, and randomized designs relevant for health-care research have been developed. These methods allow us to circumvent the fragmented and incommensurate findings that can be generated in small-scale, project-based studies. The overall approach for our research is a multi-level, multi-study design.
The ACCREDIT project will examine the utility, reliability, relevance and cost effectiveness of differing forms of accreditation, focused on general practice, aged care and acute care settings in Australia. Empirically, there are potential research gains to be made by understanding accreditation and extending existing knowledge; theoretically, this design will facilitate a systems view of accreditation of benefit to the partnership, international research communities, and future accreditation designers."Accreditation of health-care organisations is a multimillion dollar industry which shapes care in many countries. Recent reviews of research show little evidence that accreditation increases safety or improves quality. It's time we knew about the cost and value of accreditation and about its future direction." [Professor John Øvretveit, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, 7 October 2009].
BMC Research Notes 01/2011; 4:390.