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Accreditation Definitions

According to the International Society for Quality in Healthcare, accreditation is a process "in which trained external peer reviewers evaluate a health care organization’s compliance with pre-established  performance standards ... Unlike licensure, accreditation focuses on continuous improvement strategies and  achievement of optimal quality standards, rather than adherence to minimal standards intended to assure public safety.” *

For JACIE, accreditation is the means by which a centre can demonstrate that it is performing to a required level of practice in accordance with agreed standards of excellence. Essentially it allows a centre to certify that it operates an effective quality management system. A quality management system is a mechanism to ensure that procedures are being carried out in line with agreed standards with full participation by all staff members. In a cell transplant programme, this ensures that the clinical, collection and laboratory units are all working together to achieve excellent communication, effective common work practices and increased guarantees for patients. It is a means of rapidly identifying errors or accidents and resolving them so that the possibility of repetition is minimised. It assists in training and clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of all staff. Once the required level of quality has been achieved, the remaining challenge is to maintain this standard of practice. With a working quality management system in place and adequate resources, the fundamental elements necessary to sustain the programme are continued staff commitment and vigilance.

* Shaw CD. Toolkit for Accreditation Programs. The International Society for Quality In Health Care, Australia. 2004

Related Publications

Grepperud, S. (2014). Is the hospital decision to seek accreditation an effective one? The International Journal of Health Planning and Management, n/a–n/a. doi:10.1002/hpm.2263

Shaw, C. D., Groene, O., Botje, D., Sunol, R., Kutryba, B., Klazinga, N., … Wagner, C. (2014). The effect of certification and accreditation on quality management in 4 clinical services in 73 European hospitals. International Journal for Quality in Health Care : Journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care / ISQua, 1–8. doi:10.1093/intqhc/mzu023

Ng, G. K. B., Leung, G. K. K., Johnston, J. M., & Cowling, B. J. (2013). Factors affecting implementation of accreditation programmes and the impact of the accreditation process on quality improvement in hospitals : a SWOT analysis. Hong Kong Med J, 19(5), 434–446. doi:10.12809/hkmj134063

Ivers N, Jamtvedt G, Flottorp S, Young JM, Odgaard‐Jensen J, French SD, O'Brien MA, Johansen M, Grimshaw J, Oxman AD. Audit and feedback: effects on professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD000259. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000259.pub3

Pomey et al., Does accreditation stimulate change? A study of the impact of the accreditation process on Canadian healthcare organizations Implementation Science 2010, 5:31. doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-5-31 

Hinchcliff, R. et al. Narrative synthesis of health service accreditation literature. BMJ quality & safety 1–14 (2012). doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2012-000852  

Tabrizi, J. S., Gharibi, F. & Wilson, A. J. Advantages and Disadvantages of Health Care Accreditation Models. Health Promotion Perspectives 1, 1–31 (2011). 

Greenfield, D., Pawsey, M. & Braithwaite, J. What motivates professionals to engage in the accreditation of healthcare organizations? International journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care / ISQua 23, 8–14 (2010).

El-Jardali, F., Jamal, D., Dimassi, H., Ammar, W. & Tchaghchaghian, V. The impact of hospital accreditation on quality of care: perception of Lebanese nurses. International journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care / ISQua 20, 363–71 (2008)

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