Preparing for accreditation can be a long, intensive process. It requires collaborating with administrators and leaders to update policies, procedures, and training materials.
But accreditation is a worthwhile investment. In the end, achieving accreditation in healthcare can have many important benefits for your organization:
Improved quality of care
Achieving accreditation requires holding staff to high standards for patient care. Studies have shown that accreditation improves the overall quality of care in healthcare facilities.
In certain specialty areas, accreditation programs even improve patient outcomes.
In a survey by the Public Health Accreditation Board, 98% of respondents agreed that accreditation prompted their organization to improve quality and performance.
Healthcare accreditation requires organizations to examine processes in every department and section of their facility. This also improves the quality of care by decreasing variations in the ways different staff members and departments care for patients.
The standards ensure that patients will receive consistent, excellent care throughout the facility.
Increased community confidence
In healthcare, patient trust is essential. Patients are putting their personal health – and often their lives – in the hands of healthcare staff.
Accreditation shows your patients that they can trust your organization to take care of them. It also demonstrates to the community that you are seeking to provide the highest quality service possible.
When community members see that your organization is accredited, they know that you have voluntarily undergone the process of meeting rigorous standards.
This increased confidence not only brings in more patients, it also can help your organization build partnerships within your community.
Better operational efficiency and processes
Healthcare organizations face unique challenges when it comes to management and business operations.
Organizations must make sure their operations comply with a complex series of federal and state laws. They also must continually improve processes while also cutting costs.
A survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that management issues were the biggest challenges facing healthcare providers.
They interviewed more than 150 healthcare executives at different types of organizations, and found that more than half of them said their operational model needed to change.
Accreditation in healthcare can help organizations make strategic shifts. Most accreditation standards provide a framework to help your organization set up better structures and achieve operational excellence.
In the Public Health Accreditation Board survey, 90% of respondents said accreditation improved the management processes of their leadership team.
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Reduced liability insurance
Healthcare is a high-risk and highly regulated industry. Federal healthcare regulations such as HIPAA, the False Claims Act, the Affordable Care Act, and more are complex and ever-changing.
Medical mistakes or compliance violations can cost your organization millions in lawsuits, or even put you out of business.
Preparing for accreditation requires doing a comprehensive review of how your organization functions. This lets you see the areas where you are most at risk.
You may spot a gap in compliance or find that you need to adjust the procedure to make a certain task safer. This proactive approach to risk management will result in safer processes, and therefore, fewer mistakes.
As a result, accreditation may provide you with better access to liability insurance.
Some insurance companies offer a reduced premium to facilities that are accredited. This can bring significant savings for your organization, and may even offset the cost of accreditation.
Gain competitive advantage
Accreditation gives you a leg up on your competition. Potential patients or partners are more likely to choose an accredited healthcare facility over one that is not accredited.
Since accreditation improves the quality of care, it also improves patient satisfaction. And satisfied patients spread the word and come back when they need additional medical help.
Receive shared policies, procedures, and best practices
When your organization gets accredited, you gain access to a whole new world of resources and partnerships.
Often the accreditation organization will offer ongoing tips and resources to help keep you up to date on new regulation, technology, and changes in the industry.
You can also share knowledge with other accredited organizations to improve your policies and procedures and keep up with current best practices.
Obtain insights and transparency through external review
When accreditation surveyors conduct their review of your organization, they do more than just check that your facility meets the standards.
Often, they will give you advice and insights on how to improve your organization above and beyond the standards.
The peer reviewers bring an objective, outside perspective that can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. Often, they are leaders from other healthcare organizations, so they can provide concrete examples of strategies that have helped their organization improve.
Since your organization has to go through peer review every few years to maintain accreditation, the process will keep your organization moving forward and constantly improving.
These are just a few of the benefits of accreditation in healthcare. Healthcare accreditation can help your organization improve the quality of care, streamline operations, reduce liability risks, and more.
Achieving and maintaining accreditation gives you a clear picture of how to constantly improve your organization for years to come.