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The Power Of Accreditation: How A New Model Can Spur Hospitals To Success

Accreditation to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs appears to be one of the most mundane tasks a hospital or healthcare system must accomplish. But if a provider aligns itself with the right accrediting organization, it can lead to huge improvements in care quality, patient outcomes and overall operational efficiency. That is particularly crucial these days, as hospitals continue to confront issues with patient infection rates, patient readmissions and other issues that cause costs to rise and reimbursements to be cut. 

Three diverse healthcare systems from around the country – Houston Methodist in Texas, Sentara Healthcare in Virginia and the University of Utah Health system – switched their accrediting bodies in recent years. As a result, they have become laser-focused on continuous quality improvement, following the National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (NIAHO®) guidelines and ISO 9001, a quality management system. In turn, this has made patient care safer, and negative outcomes have been reduced. Meanwhile, hospital managers are empowered to identify and address other potential care delivery issues and strive to make even more improvements.

• How Houston Methodist continuously improves its quality management system through risk-based thinking and intensive interdepartmental audits 

• How Sentara Healthcare engaged in a standardization of processes, policies and procedures across the system

• How University of Utah Health has been empowered to innovate when improving patient care and outcomes 

• How accreditation can be a catalyst for change

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