Healthcare accreditation can be described as an assessment process. In this case, it is mostly used by organizations to review their performance because it can be either external or self assessment. This is done in relation and accordance with internationally acceptable standards. It should be known that accreditation can be used to improve an organizations performance by implementing acceptable ethics and standards. Accreditation plays an important role and that is why every healthcare organization should readily embrace it. The general role of accreditation is to set good standards that will be used to evaluate performance (World Health Organization, 2000, p. 13). In addition, it is evident that accreditation is used for analysis and self improvement of organizations. Medical errors can not be entertained in any healthcare organization and this is what accreditation seeks to enforce. In this case, accreditation is a very important aspect as far as the safety of patients is concerned.
Accreditation is supposed to be implemented fully for good results. This means that it is a good tool that can be used in recognition of hospitals. As a matter of fact, this is as far as categorization of hospitals in relation to service delivery is concerned. Healthcare accreditation is mostly used to improve the quality of services that are offered by organizations. Quality can be enhanced by looking at the resources that are existent in relation to internationally set standards (Joint Commission Resources, Inc, 2005, p. 11) Standards can not be wholesome because healthcare organizations are not equal in many ways. When accreditation is implemented well, the leadership of an organization is strengthened for long term sustainability. As a matter of fact, it ends up steering the role of healthcare organizations in the society as time goes by.
There have been a lot of arguments and counterarguments in relation to the enforcement of healthcare accreditation. In this case, accreditation is not mandatory in any way. As much as it is gaining prominence around the world, this does not mean that it is mandatory. Healthcare organizations are always encouraged to go through this process but they are not forced in any way. The need for accreditation has been necessitated by increased trade in healthcare services. This is a voluntary process because healthcare organizations have discovered that an increase in costs can be reduced by enforcing accreditation standards and ethics. There are countries that have made hospital accreditation mandatory because of the need to enhance healthcare services. This means that as long as a healthcare organization wants to practice and do business in that given country, it should undertake accreditation.
Key performance indicators are always looked at as far as accreditation is concerned but this does not mean that it is mandatory. The renewal of accreditation is always mandatory based on performance indicators that an organization was supposed to enforce and practice. As much as accreditation is not necessarily mandatory, it should be made mandatory because patients are supposed to get good healthcare services. This means that healthcare organizations should be forced to comply with internationally acceptable standards and practices for long term sustainability. There are patients who are nowadays keen on accreditation because it is always used as a basis upon which a good healthcare organization can be identified (Rais, 1991, p. 35). This means that a healthcare organization that wants to attract patients to seek their services should conform to these practices through continuous improvement. As much as there are healthcare organizations that will not see the need for accreditation in pretence and believe that they are doing the right thing, common sense and good professional practices should encourage them to do so.
In a broad perspective, every healthcare organization should participate in healthcare accreditation to enhance their performance. This is because they will always evaluate themselves based on what their competitors are doing. There are weaknesses that have been inherent in the healthcare accreditation process and these are issues that need to be looked at. The period of accreditation has always been disputed upon because there are other people who are arguing that it takes a long period of time. This is a weakness because a healthcare organization is supposed to evaluate itself based on what the accreditation team is embarking upon. The time period should be reduced based on the evaluation criteria to give the organization enough time to improve on its performance (Glied, 2008, p. 36). As far as proper accreditation is concerned, there are other processes that have not given and provided the much needed assurance that it will meet the required standards.
Accreditation has been gaining prominence around the world but harmonization of the criteria for evaluation has not been properly enforced. This means that the global goal of enhancing healthcare services will not be achieved without proper harmonization. Another outstanding weakness of accreditation is settling on a middle ground. This is because it is hard to settle on a middle ground between various optimal and minimal standards. Most programs and processes that have been designed are mostly aimed at attaining optimal standards at the expense of other important aspects which needs to be looked at (Glied, 2008, p. 65). In a broad perspective, long term and short term objectives of healthcare accreditation have not been well articulated thereby giving conflicting overviews on what is supposed to be done.
Glied, S. (2008). Health Care Financing, Efficiency, and Equity. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Joint Commission Resources, Inc. (2005). Patient safety: essentials for health care. New York: Joint Commission Resources.
Rais, A. (1991). Health Care Patterns and Planning in Developing Countries. New York: Greenwood Press.
World Health Organization. (2000). World Health Report 2000 – Health systems: improving performance. Geneva: WHO.