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Are accreditation surveys reliable?

David Greenfield (Centre for Clinical Governance Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Marjorie Pawsey (Centre for Clinical Governance Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Justine Naylor (Orthopaedics Sydney South West Area Health Service, Centre for Clinical Governance Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Jeffrey Braithwaite (Centre for Clinical Governance Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 27 March 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to test whether healthcare accreditation survey processes are reliable.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses multiple methods to document stakeholder experiences and views on accreditation survey reliability. There were 29 research activities, comprising 25 focus groups, three interviews and a survey questionnaire. In total, 193 stakeholders participated; 134 in face‐to‐face activities and 56 via questionnaire. All were voluntary participants. Using open‐ended questioning, stakeholders were asked to reflect upon accreditation survey reliability.

Findings

Stakeholders perceived healthcare accreditation surveys to be a reliable activity. They identified six interrelated factors that simultaneously promoted and challenged reliability: the accreditation program, including organisational documentation and surveyor accreditation reports; members' relationship to the accrediting agency and survey team; accreditation agency personnel; surveyor workforce renewal; surveyor workforce management; and survey team conduct including coordinator role. The six factors realised shared expectations and conduct by accreditation stakeholders; that is, they enabled accreditation stakeholder self‐governance.

Practical implications

Knowledge gained can be used to improve accreditation program reliability, credibility and ongoing self‐governance.

Originality/value

The paper is a unique examination of healthcare accreditation surveys the reliability. The findings have potential application to reliability in other healthcare areas.

Keywords

Citation

Greenfield, D., Pawsey, M., Naylor, J. and Braithwaite, J. (2009), "Are accreditation surveys reliable?", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 105-116. https://doi.org/10.1108/09526860910944601

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited