The purpose of this paper is to understand how staff at various levels perceive and understand hospital accreditation generally and in relation to quality improvement (QI) specifically.
In a newly accredited Danish hospital, the authors conducted semi-structured interviews to capture broad ranging experiences. Medical doctors, nurses, a quality coordinator and a quality department employee participated. Interviews were audio recorded and subjected to framework analysis.
Staff reported that The Danish Healthcare Quality Programme affected management priorities: office time and working on documentation, which reduced time with patients and on improvement activities. Organisational structures were improved during preparation for accreditation. Staff perceived that the hospital was better prepared for new QI initiatives after accreditation; staff found disease specific requirements unnecessary. Other areas benefited from accreditation. Interviewees expected that organisational changes, owing to accreditation, would be sustained and that the QI focus would continue.
Accreditation is a critical and complete hospital review, including areas that often are neglected. Accreditation dominates hospital agendas during preparation and surveyor visits, potentially reducing patient care and other QI initiatives. Improvements are less likely to occur in areas that other QI initiatives addressed. Yet, accreditation creates organisational foundations for future QI initiatives.
The authors study contributes new insights into how hospital staff at different organisational levels perceive and understand accreditation.
Bogh, S.B., Blom, A., Raben, D.C., Braithwaite, J., Thude, B., Hollnagel, E. and Plessen, C.v. (2018), "Hospital accreditation: staff experiences and perceptions", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 420-427. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-06-2017-0115
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