How accreditation can lead to long-lasting cultural change and commitment to quality improvementThere are many reasons for a healthcare organisation to seek accreditation. Where questions around service quality have been asked by a regulator, accreditation can provide reassurance that standards are being met and maintained. An organisation may be launching a new service or expanding an existing one, and view a quality framework as a supportive and structured approach to ensuring its standards and processes support safe, high quality care. It could be moving from an ISO certification requirement to a fuller, health-specific set of accreditation standards in order to achieve a more patient-focused accreditation, or it could want the badge of accreditation to help stand out amongst competitors. It could simply be part of an initiative to improve the quality and safety of its services.    Whatever the motivation for seeking accreditation, once achieved it has many benefits. There are five ways accreditation can benefit an organisation:   There is an organisation-wide commitment to improvement backed up by leadership team support and drive  The momentum to improve is greater because it is being driven out of a deliberate choice By assigning resources for the project, the organisation is focused on achieving benefits It demonstrates commitment to quality showcasing a genuine belief that care can be improved through consistent adoption of standards It galvanises the team and organisational focus/commitment to a project which is more likely to lead to genuine culture change   Accreditation ensures standards are applied appropriately within the organisation, embedding them at a deeper, more sustainable level from frontline staff to the board room. This is why accreditation has a profound effect on an organisation’s culture. The drive to deliver spreads from the top down, and from the bottom up with employees feeling a greater sense of ownership and influence over the quality of services. Accreditation can create a focus and commitment to improvement that is organisation-wide and is more likely to lead to sustainable culture change.    This was true for The Children’s Trust, which gained CHKS accreditation in 2018. In order to achieve accreditation, it was imperative that every member of staff was on board, motivated, and working towards the same goal. This was the starting point for long-term cultural change at the organisation. For the trust, achieving CHKS accreditation went beyond improving processes, challenging long-held beliefs and systems and requiring a shift in mindset across the organisation. The journey to accreditation enabled the charity to embed a culture of continuous improvement, as well as assuring commissioners around quality and ensuring the organisation’s sustainability.    To read more about how accreditation helped the Children’s Trust, click here. To start your own journey to accreditation, get in touch here. There are many reasons for a healthcare organisation to seek accreditation. Where questions around service quality have been asked by a regulator, accreditation can provide reassurance that standards are being met and maintained.
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