Counting the costs of accreditation in acute care: an activity-based costing approach

Virginia Mumford*, David Greenfield, Anne Hogden, Kevin Forde, Johanna Westbrook, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: To assess the costs of hospital accreditation in Australia. Design: Mixed methods design incorporating: stakeholder analysis; survey design and implementation; activity-based costs analysis; and expert panel review. Setting: Acute care hospitals accredited by the Australian Council for Health Care Standards. Participants: Six acute public hospitals across four States. Results: Accreditation costs varied from 0.03% to 0.60% of total hospital operating costs per year, averaged across the 4-year accreditation cycle. Relatively higher costs were associated with the surveys years and with smaller facilities. At a national level these costs translate to $A36.83 million, equivalent to 0.1% of acute public hospital recurrent expenditure in the 2012 fiscal year. Conclusions: This is the first time accreditation costs have been independently evaluated across a wide range of hospitals and highlights the additional cost burden for smaller facilities. A better understanding of the costs allows policymakers to assess alternative accreditation and other quality improvement strategies, and understand their impact across a range of facilities. This methodology can be adapted to assess international accreditation programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere008850
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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