The role and impact of accreditation on the healthcare revolution

David Greenfield, Marjorie Pawsey, Jeffrey Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Healthcare has, and continues to be, revolutionised. There have been incredible developments in medical knowledge and understanding of physiological processes, accompanied by spectacular advances in technology. Adding to these, insights from manufacturing and other industries, and lessons from organisational development, psychology and social science disciplines have illuminated how health professionals collaborate and coordinate, and interact with patients and their families, and how these can be further improved. The regulation of healthcare, and in particular the accreditation of healthcare organisations, have made important, and possibly undervalued, contributions to the ongoing revolution. This paper examines this revolution and considers the question: what has been the impact of accreditation on the quality of care? A critique of the empirical evidence for accreditation, identifying gaps in our understanding and discussion of the lessons learned, is undertaken. The challenges facing accreditation agencies and their stakeholders in their efforts to advance the sustainability and credibility of accreditation programs are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-150
Number of pages17
JournalRevista acreditação
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Alternatively titled (in Protuguese) as 'O papel e o impacto da acreditação na revolução da atenção à saúde'


  • accreditation
  • healthcare
  • research
  • quality and safety


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