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Healthcare accreditation: Through the looking glass in 2017

Editor’s note: The following was written by Dan Egli, PhD, executive search consultant, quality services, performance improvement, and risk management, The Roman Healthcare Group, LLC. He can be reached at

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

For many organizations, accreditation demonstrates a commitment to improve quality, manage risk, and distinguish itself from its competitors. The challenge is choosing an accreditation organization (AO) that fits in with your organizational culture and philosophy. Today more than ever, selecting an AO is a strategic decision which requires research to find the right organizational fit.

Sometimes, what was great then, doesn’t always fit now. This is because organizations change as do accreditors. It may not be possible to know why you are accredited by a certain AO, or it may be because that has always been the case. Having a look into other options can be daunting. This brief provides insights to thought provoking questions that aim to facilitate the decision-making process.

“I think I could, if I only know how to begin.”

Start by considering what is important to your organization, reflect on your philosophy and values, and then make a list of what is important in an accreditation partner. Describe that list with qualitative statements. For example, quality can mean a variety of things; for some, it is the ability to submit measures and have access to quarterly benchmark reports for each indicator. It could also mean the look and feel of the AO from an aesthetic view such as the design of the manual, or style of correspondence. Just as quality is broad, so is the style of the AO’s survey. Are you looking for the army sergeant, school master, mentor, friend, or partner?

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