The frequency and magnitude of medical errors is gaining public focus . In response to concerns about quality, escalating costs and government regulated accountability standards, healthcare leaders are seeking scientific methods for improving healthcare quality in hospitals. Optimal solutions, however, are proving to be elusive. Although several concepts, methodologies and tools have been postulated to advance quality and patient safety in healthcare [1-4], there still exists a dearth of compelling evidence of their impact and effectiveness, none more so than the all-encompassing strategy of accreditation [5-10].
Nevertheless, many countries, including the UAE, are frequently utilizing accreditation as a tool for government regulation to guarantee quality of care and improve patient safety. However, implementation of accreditation standards is demanding on individuals and organisations . In addition, the theoretical and empirical literature on accreditation is sparse, especially in the emerging economies of the Middle East.
Previous research on the impact of healthcare accreditation shows inconsistent results [13,14]. Accordingly, there has been an extensive call in the healthcare literature for an assessment of such external accreditation systems to produce rigorous evaluations of their impact [9,15-18].
International accreditation Joint Commission International (JCI) is a not-for-profit affiliate formed by The Joint Commission (TJC) to provide leadership in healthcare accreditation and quality improvement for organisations outside the United States. By 2013, JCI had accredited 500 healthcare organisations internationally . A hospital seeking to obtain JCI accreditation is visited every three years by a survey team that observes hospital operations, conducts interviews, and reviews medical documentation for compliance with a set of standards. The goal of the survey is to evaluate care, organisational processes and to provide education with the objective of promoting continual improvement for the organisation under survey.