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Journal cover: Clinical Governance: An International Journal

Clinical Governance: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7274
Previously published as: British Journal of Clinical Governance

Online from: 2003

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Re-engineering hospital accreditation

Document Information:
Title:Re-engineering hospital accreditation
Author(s):Rita L. Ratcliffe, (Medical Excellence: Organizing to Prevent Medical Misadventures, Pittsford, New York, USA)
Citation:Rita L. Ratcliffe, (2009) "Re-engineering hospital accreditation", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 14 Iss: 4, pp.315 - 335
Keywords:Health services, Hospitals, Patient care, Quality improvement, United States of America
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/14777270911007836 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the first new hospital accreditation option in over 40 years, and the only accreditation scheme for US hospitals which is ISO-based. It seeks to explore factors prompting design of a fundamentally new approach, patient and provider experiences thus far, outlook for adoption of this alternative, and potential for improving delivery of health services in US hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach – The approach takes the form of a review of available materials, industry and popular press accounts, federal documents; interviews with hospital executives and managers and with prime developers of the new accreditation process; access to personal prior industry research and experiences.

Findings – Frustrated by an established accreditation process seen as wasteful and ancillary to standard operations, administrators and clinicians developed a new approach designed to use accreditation as a strategic business tool to reinforce clinical and business process integration, efficiencies, innovation, accountability, and sustained improvement in day-to-day hospital operations. The accreditation process has been approved for hospitals providing care to US Medicare beneficiaries.

Originality/value – Pressures to reform the financing and delivery of health services in the USA – and to address concerns of escalating costs, decreased access, limited improvements in patient safety, poor care coordination, and an absence of accountability – intensify. The introduction of a novel hospital accreditation option into an arena long dominated by a single powerful accreditor provides opportunity for disruptive innovation. The rate of adoption of this new approach and its impact on existing challenges will be of interest to multiple stakeholders.

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