The changing face of healthcare accreditation in Australia
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Objective: To review the background of accreditation in healthcare. We examine the National Safety Quality Health Service (NSQHS) standards development and the perceptions of some of the NSQHS accredited accreditation providers in Australia. Design: An exploratory qualitative study in which the researchers use interviews and content comparison analysis to examine the Australian NSQHS standards (the Standards), the approving accrediting agencies and the perceived impact of the changes on the healthcare system. Setting: The researchers focus on providers’ accreditation products and services, and how the Standards will impact on the Australian Healthcare system. Australia is not alone in undergoing reforms in accreditation and performance in healthcare. Other countries and international organisations have recently revised and renewed their interest in how healthcare systems perform. Outcome: This has led to the development of revised standards; quality and safety review frameworks; performance indicators for monitoring, assessing and managing healthcare systems to achieve effectiveness, equity, efficiency and quality. Measures: Analysis of qualitative data using the constant comparison method. Findings: Five major themes are found from in-depth interviews with accreditation program providers: the multiple levels of accreditation that are offered; the importance of assessor recruitment and training; the aspiration of service excellence; improved processes; and the importance of value versus price to those who are accredited by the participants of this study. Conclusions: The findings focus on optimisation of the regulatory environment to drive performance and quality in health facilities and the importance of the assessors, in what is expected to continue to be, a valuedriven accreditation market.
Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management
© 2015 Australian College of Health Service Executives. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Health Care Administration