The impact of hospital accreditation on quality measures: An interrupted time series analysis

Subashnie Devkaran*, Patrick N. O'Farrell

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)
    63 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: Developing countries frequently use hospital accreditation to guarantee quality and patient safety. However, implementation of accreditation standards is demanding on organisations. Furthermore, the empirical literature on the benefits of accreditation is sparse and this is the first empirical interrupted time series analysis designed to examine the impact of healthcare accreditation on hospital quality measures. Methods: The study was conducted in a 150-bed multispecialty hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The quality performance outcomes were observed over a 48 month period. The quality performance differences were compared across monthly intervals between two time segments, 1 year pre- accreditation (2009) and 3 years post-accreditation (2010, 2011 and 2012) for the twenty-seven quality measures. The principal data source was a random sample of 12,000 patient records drawn from a population of 50,000 during the study period (January 2009 to December 2012). Each month (during the study period), a simple random sample of 24 percent of patient records was selected and audited, resulting in 324,000 observations. The measures (structure, process and outcome) are related to important dimensions of quality and patient safety. Results: The study findings showed that preparation for the accreditation survey results in significant improvement as 74% of the measures had a significant positive pre-accreditation slope. Accreditation had a larger significant negative effect (48% of measures) than a positive effect (4%) on the post accreditation slope of performance. Similarly, accreditation had a larger significant negative change in level (26%) than a positive change in level (7%) after the accreditation survey. Moreover, accreditation had no significant impact on 11 out of the 27 measures. However, there is residual benefit from accreditation three years later with performance maintained at approximately 90%, which is 20 percentage points higher than the baseline level in 2009. Conclusions: Although there is a transient drop in performance immediately after the survey, this study shows that the improvement achieved from accreditation is maintained during the three year accreditation cycle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages14
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Issue number137
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015


    • Accreditation
    • Healthcare quality measures
    • Interrupted time series analysis
    • Joint Commission International

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy


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