Is Your Hospital Accredited?


Is Your Hospital Accredited?

Whether you are choosing a pediatrician for your newborn, or researching an oncologist to perform cancer treatments, it is important to know that your health care facility is operating at the highest level of care. An essential factor to consider is whether the facility or organization you are considering is accredited.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the process by which a third-party organization evaluates a company’s operations and compares its findings to an established criterion of quality. It is important to understand hospital accreditation, as accreditation is a clear indicator that your medical facility is conducting business in a manner that is consistent with, or above, national standards. Types of medical facilities under accreditation include public and private hospitals, medical and psychiatric hospitals, related outpatient clinics, and public health clinics.

Criteria for Accreditation

Many accreditation organizations are responsible for providing feedback about your health care provider. Accreditation companies include the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc., Utilization Review Accreditation Commission, and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers. Each accreditation organization has a different standard or criteria by which they measure health care facilities.

Although each accreditation organization has its own unique list of quality care standards, there are some areas that most accreditation associations examine when reviewing a health care facility. These areas include:

  • Patient Rights: Are the patients treated with respect? Are the patients given complete information concerning their diagnosis, and are they invited to participate in decisions involving their health care? Are patients provided information about their rights and responsibilities? Does the facility have easily understandable payment policies?
  • Governance: Is there a process in place for identifying and preparing an action plan for any adverse incidents that may arise? Is there a detailed procedure for evaluating the qualifications of the healthcare providers? Is there an established and appropriate system for deciding what procedures or services a health care professional may provide?
  • Administration: Does the facility have personnel policies in place? Does the organization conduct periodic patient satisfaction surveys? Does the facility have a secure health information system?
  • Quality of Care Provided: Does the organization contact patients in a time-sensitive matter regarding abnormal lab findings or significant problems? Is there a system in place to provide for a smooth transfer of patients where and when appropriate?
  • Quality Management: Does the organization periodically evaluate and review its own standard of care? Does the organization have a risk management program in place to protect both patients and employees? Are the health care professionals participating in quality improvement programs?
  • Infection Prevention: Is the organization dedicated to maintaining a sanitary environment? Does the organization comply with nationally recognized infection control guidelines, and does it document its safety and infection prevention measures?
  • Professional Improvement: Are employees encouraged to further their knowledge and education through various workshops, seminars and continuing education classes? Does the organization monitor the certification and licensure of its employees to ensure all professional personnel are up-to-date?

How Can I Check If My Facility is Accredited?

The best way to check the accreditation criteria of your hospital or healthcare facility is to check its website or ask personnel to show you the accreditation. You can then check the website of the organization that accredited your facility to read about specific requirements that were considered.

Below is a list of healthcare accreditation organizations in the United States that survey and accredit hospitals and healthcare organizations.

Additional Resources




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