How do accreditation and certification help enforce quality healthcare

What is the difference between accreditation and certification?

The though terms; accreditation and certification are closely related, there is a clear difference between the two.

Accreditation is like an audit of healthcare organizations. There are a set of predetermined criteria set by accrediting agencies that medical clinics and hospitals should adhere. They represent agencies as reputable and trustworthy organizations that are dedicated to upholding high standards of quality in terms of facilities, procedures, and treatment.

On the other hand, certification refers to a procedure of a compliance check, whereby the conformity of work procedures and process with the requirements of specific standards is scrutinized by an autonomous third party. The scrutiny in a certification does not entirely refer to processes, but can as well cover whole systems, as for example in the certification of management systems. The persons involved do not necessarily have to have the professional competence for the object to be certified.

The two methods of accreditation and certification are intended to ensure that processes, systems, or even people meet well-defined stipulations. Therefore, many organizations seek accreditation or even certification of a management system or a person in order to gain customer confidence in the services or products they offer.

Advantages of accreditation and certification

  • Detection of potential faults and weaknesses that would otherwise affect patient outcomes
  • Preventive documentation of possible shortcomings and focal points enhances the affected processes, eradicates wastes and decreases quality-related costs.
  • Ensuring patient safety: Regulations and standards can help ensure that healthcare providers adhere to certain safety and quality standards, which can reduce the risk of medical errors and harm to patients.
  • With the help of analysis, documentation, and enhancement of healthcare processes, a better understanding of processes can be acquired and work procedures can successively be accelerated.
  • Legal certainty in the event of liability
  • Certification or accreditation demonstrates compliance with due diligence requirements when structuring quality-related aspects.
  • Improving quality of care: Certification and accreditation programs can help healthcare providers identify areas where they can improve the quality of care they provide, leading to better outcomes for patients.
  • Enhancing public trust: By meeting regulatory, certification, and accreditation requirements, healthcare providers can demonstrate their commitment to providing safe, high-quality care, which can enhance public trust in the healthcare system.
  • Facilitating interoperability: Regulations and standards can help ensure that healthcare systems and devices are interoperable, which can improve care coordination and patient outcomes.
  • Encouraging innovation: Regulations can also encourage innovation in healthcare, such as by incentivizing the development of new technologies or treatments that improve patient outcomes.

Why do we need certification and accreditation in healthcare?

Accreditations are necessary because it is through their certifications that we understand the development, maintenance, and policies of health centers. Therefore, without further research, a trust is automatically formed for a particular hospital or clinic when we determine that they are well accredited.