Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to introduce the first new hospital accreditation option in over 40 years, and the only accreditation scheme for US hospitals which is ISO‐based. It seeks to explore factors prompting design of a fundamentally new approach, patient and provider experiences thus far, outlook for adoption of this alternative, and potential for improving delivery of health services in US hospitals. Design/methodology/approach – The approach takes the form of a review of available materials, industry and popular press accounts, federal documents; interviews with hospital executives and managers and with prime developers of the new accreditation process; access to personal prior industry research and experiences. Findings – Frustrated by an established accreditation process seen as wasteful and ancillary to standard operations, administrators and clinicians developed a new approach designed to use accreditation as a strategic business tool to reinforce clinical and business process integration, efficiencies, innovation, accountability, and sustained improvement in day‐to‐day hospital operations. The accreditation process has been approved for hospitals providing care to US Medicare beneficiaries. Originality/value – Pressures to reform the financing and delivery of health services in the USA – and to address concerns of escalating costs, decreased access, limited improvements in patient safety, poor care coordination, and an absence of accountability – intensify. The introduction of a novel hospital accreditation option into an arena long dominated by a single powerful accreditor provides opportunity for disruptive innovation. The rate of adoption of this new approach and its impact on existing challenges will be of interest to multiple stakeholders.
Clinical Governance: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 16, 2009
Keywords: Health services; Hospitals; Quality improvement; Patient care; United States of America
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