Accreditation is a process of review that healthcare organizations voluntarily participate in to demonstrate the ability to meet predetermined criteria, and standards established by a nationally recognized professional accrediting agency. The purpose of accreditation is to validate the fact that a health care organization provides the highest quality of care to patients and, is in continuous compliance with nationally established standards of quality (Carman & Timsina, 2015). Accrediting organizations develop a fiduciary relationship with payer and provider organizations to ensure quality of service and care is maintained.
National accreditation is regarded by stakeholders in the health care industry as a key benchmark in measuring quality of care delivered by a health organization. Accredited organizations are able to leverage internal strengths in order to take advantage of external opportunities. Accreditation also fortifies leadership’s aptitude for identifying internal weaknesses and, competence in establishing strategies for effective mediation of weaknesses (Valentin, 2001).
Standards are guidelines written in order to determine a baseline for operating efficiently and effectively. Accreditation standards require health care organizations to meet a minimal level of competency in order to receive the stamp of approval by the accrediting agency. Ratcliffe (2009) describe accreditation as standard measures used in transitioning health organizations to higher levels of performance. Standards identify the gap between where a health organization is currently and where it needs to be to meet pre-established quality guidelines. The purpose of accreditation standards is to prom...
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... Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a national not-for-profit organization that accredits managed care organizations (MCOs). The most prominent MCOs are the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Through a voluntary accreditation process NCQA’s goal is to improve quality of healthcare and, MCOs seeking accreditation are required to meet NCQAs standards of quality (Ewing, 2013).
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the most prominent government organization actively supporting quality healthcare. Funding research that is focused on quality improvement in the delivery of health care services is a major initiative of AHRQ. On the website of the National Guideline Clearinghouse, AHRQ publishes free evidence-based practice guidelines to encourage adaptation by health practitioners and organizations. .
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