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Mohammad Alyahya is an associate professor at the Health Management and Policy Department / Faculty of Medicine / Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). He has a PhD in health services management from The University of York, England. His research interests include Health behaviour, Change management, and Strategy management in Healthcare sector. Dr. Alyahya has recently published several articles on how to integrate the principles of Evidence Based Medicine and Evidence Based Public Health, Isomorphism change, clinical decision support systems (CDSS), and using negative reinforcement theory to change individual’s behaviour.
Background: Accreditation programs provide healthcare organizations an opportunity to recognize and analyse their strengths and weaknesses, and this in turn helps in developing future plans for organizational change. Accreditation process provides the opportunity for transforming primary healthcare centres from traditional healthcare settings into organizations that embrace continuous improvements through organizational learning and innovation. Aim: The aim of this study was to generate new insights about the accreditation process as a learning mechanism in healthcare settings. Methods: In-depth exploratory interviews were conducted with 56 healthcare clinicians and administrative staff from 7 primary healthcare centres in Jordan. Results: Our findings revealed that the accreditation process has contributed to organizational learning at different levels. At the individual level, new policies and documentation required by the accreditation agencies were perceived by healthcare professionals as a way to improve their skills, knowledge, and abilities. The participants also emphasized that accreditation process enhanced formal and non-formal “learning by doing” and “on-site-learning” approaches. Working together in the accreditation committees and teams helped staff across different departments to learn about practices taking place at other departments and units, and transfer ideas throughout the centres. For group learning, the accreditation promoted knowledge and skills sharing, multi-disciplinary teams, positive relationships between clinicians and administrative staff. At the system level, the accreditation encouraged organization’s openness to new ideas, and helped healthcare centres to better respond to the departmental needs and to find best practices of working collectively. Conclusions: The current study highlights that is the most important gains for healthcare centres is how the accreditation process helps healthcare setting to become a learning organization. Healthcare staff perceived accreditation process as a tool of learning new ideas and as a vehicle to acquiring new skills and knowledge.