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Health service accreditation programs are critical for the sphere of healthcare because they prove that facilities ensure patient quality and safety. In order to obtain accreditation, hospitals need to pass regular assessments that are meant to identify whether they operate rigorously and consistently. Unfortunately, the connection between accreditation and patient safety has not received sufficient attention yet. The proposed research will fill this gap, making professionals realise how they can benefit their clients.
In the USA, healthcare facilities usually choose between two organisations that have a right to accredit them: The Joint Commission (TJC) and Det Norske Veritas (DNV). In the majority of cases, they prefer TJC because it started operating in the previous century and has already proved is authoritativeness. In fact, it serves more than 4,000 hospitals currently (Nussman, 2014). DNV, on the other hand, was created only a decade ago. It represents a little bit more than 350 facilities (Nussman, 2014). Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation provides hospitals with numerous benefits. The most critical one is that JCI emphasises their ability to provide high-quality care and contributes to client satisfaction (“Benefits of JCI,” 2017). Patients become confident that the facility is on its path to reach excellence in performance, so they can obtain the required support.
Accreditation also provides an opportunity to reduce risks and costs in healthcare. In order to obtain it, hospitals face the necessity to improve their performance and ensure that all their operations are effective and efficient (Smith, Supachutikul, & Mate, 2014). Thus, it is significant for facilities to identify possible risks and to make changes that provide an opportunity to minimalize them. For instance, by implementing strategies needed to deal with the risk of patient falls, hospitals will contribute to their clients’ safety as well.
With the improvement of the quality of services, facilities obtain a chance to reduce costs significantly (Brubakk, Vist, Bukholm, Barach, & Tjomsland, 2015). If professionals identify health issues timely and provide appropriate treatment, they can avoid the use of additional tests and drugs which allows saving money for both hospitals and patients. In this way, it is also important to develop appropriate health service planning, which cannot be achieved without efficient cooperation between healthcare professionals (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2017). Obviously, the attention should be paid to patients as well. Thus, the process of information sharing will enhance, and an opportunity to streamline the process of healing will be obtained (LOGIQC, 2016).
Hypothesis and Objectives
The proposed research study will aim at the discussion of the impact of accreditation and quality tools on patient safety. The research question may be: while accreditation is usually associated only with particular conditions and written standards, how can its effectiveness be observed in practice? The hypothesis will be: accreditation for hospitals has a positive influence on the quality of provided services and patient safety because it improves the system by managing risks, reducing costs, and planning efficient service delivery. Due to the selected hypothesis, the study will focus on the following objectives:
- Identification of the agencies that can provide accreditation for healthcare facilities.
- Discussion of the most popular accreditation programs and their comparison.
- Identification of the elements needed to improve the quality of patient care.
- Discussion of risk management in healthcare.
- Discussion of cost management in healthcare.
- Discussion of service planning in healthcare.
- Evaluation of the connection between quality improvement and service planning, as well as, risk and cost management.
- Recognition of the association between patient safety and quality improvement.
- Identification of the influence of accreditation on patient safety.
To discuss the research objectives, a qualitative study will be developed. It will consist of two parts. The first one will be a literature review that shows what healthcare scholars revealed in previous studies about the impact of hospital accreditation on patient safety and quality of care. The second part will be based on interviews with healthcare professionals (mainly hospital management because they deal with the implementation of changes and control the process of accreditation, which makes them the most knowledgeable population). Open-ended and closed questions will be asked to identify their perception of accreditation and its influences. An opportunistic sample will be used to reach those professionals who agree to participate in the study. The data will be collected once. The duration of the interviews will not be limited unless the sample faces a lack of spare time. Communication will be managed face-to-face or with the use of e-mails/Skype/phone, depending on the participants’ preferences and abilities. The obtained information will be recorded and then analysed. The data collection process is expected to last for 1-2 weeks.
In order to ensure participants’ anonymity, their personal information will not be revealed. The sample will participate voluntarily so their responses are likely to be reliable. Moreover, they will be provided with basic information about research, including its purpose and objectives.
The findings of the proposed research study will be shared with the representatives of the healthcare sphere during conferences. In addition to that, the article that discusses the study will be published. Its online version will be available as well.
The proposed research is expected to benefit the sphere of healthcare because it focuses on the possibility to improve the quality of provided services and patient safety in practice with the help of written standards. The impact of accreditation on these elements will be discussed in detail, which is critical because currently, this information lacks discussion. As a result of this study, healthcare professionals will realise the necessity of accreditation, which will affect their practice and benefit patients.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. (2017). National safety and quality health service standards. Web.
Benefits of JCI accreditation and certification. (2017). Web.
Brubakk, K., Vist, G., Bukholm, G., Barach, P., & Tjomsland, O. (2015). A systematic review of hospital accreditation: The challenges of measuring complex intervention effects. BMC Health Services Research, 15(1), 280.
LOGIQC. (2016). Manage safety, quality and risk in healthcare. Web.
Nussman, H. (2014). TJC vs. DNV: Which one is right for you? Web.
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Smith, H., Supachutikul, A., & Mate, K. (2014). Hospital accreditation: Lessons from low- and middle-income countries. Globalization and Health, 10(1), 65.