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Understanding accreditation standards in general practice - a qualitative study.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Accreditation is a widely adopted tool for quality control and quality improvement in health care, which has increasingly been employed for general practice. However, there is lack of knowledge of how accreditation is received and experienced by health professionals in general practice. This study explores how general practitioners (GPs) and their staff experienced the comprehensibility of accreditation standards and how they worked to increase their understanding of the standards. The study was conducted in Denmark where accreditation was mandatory in general practice from 2016 to 2018. METHODS:The study consists of qualitative interviews with general practitioners and staff from 11 general practices that were strategically sampled among practices set to receive their survey visit in 2017. Participants were interviewed twice; once during the preparation phase and once after the survey visit. GPs and staff were interviewed separately. The interviews were analysed inductively using thematic analysis. RESULTS:Understanding the requirements of the accreditation standards was a major challenge for the professionals when preparing for the accreditation survey visit. The participants attempted to increase their understanding of the standards in several ways including the use of regional support options and seeking out experts and colleagues. However, participants had mixed experiences with the various support options and many found the sense making work frustrating and time consuming. CONCLUSION:The results point to the importance of considering the level of specificity in accreditation standards and how to ensure an organisational set-up that can offer appropriate support to primary care clinics in terms of understanding what is required to meet the standards.

SUBMITTER: Due TD 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6354356 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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