Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 21(4) January 2019 : 13-20.doi:10.12927/hcq.2019.25746
Special Focus on Building Effective Primary Care Systems

Accreditation: A Quality Improvement Strategy for the Community-Based Family Practice

Grace Moe, Kristy (Hao) Wang and Soudarat Kousonsavath

Abstract

Five Alberta family practices were the first of their kind to pursue Accreditation Canada's Primary Care Accreditation in 2013–2015. This study examines the impact of accreditation as a quality improvement (QI) strategy for community-based/fee-for-service family practices. Pre-/post-accreditation data received on clinic compliance with accreditation standards, provider-reported work-life and patients' self-rated health status/care show massive improvement in accreditation-rated compliance scores, which were disproportional to provider-/patient-rated changes. A Donabedian-inspired explanation states that accreditation measures predominantly structures, whereas survey-sought provider/patient perspectives focus on process and outcomes. Costs and human resources burdens aside, clinics saw benefits in accreditation-incented QI initiatives and formal recognition of clinic excellence, albeit antecedent.

 

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